Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Yields: one 8x8 inch cheesecake

Brownie batter adapted from Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies

Ingredients

For the Brownie Cubes

10 tablespoons butter, cubed

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, cold

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup all-purpose flour

For the Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cups sugar

2 eggs

¼ cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8x8 inch square pan with aluminum foil, and then grease the foil.
  2. For the brownies, place the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large microwavable bowl.
  3. Microwave until the butter is completely melted, stopping every 20 seconds to give it a stir. The mixture will be fairly thick.
  4. Stir for about a minute to cool the batter slightly, then beat in the egg. Beat the mixture until it is smooth, shiny, and glossy. Mix in the flour and salt.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the center is just set. (When you insert a toothpick into the center, it won’t come out clean; you want it to be thickly coated with moist crumbs).
  6. Let the brownies cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  7. You’ll only need about a third of the pan for the brownie cubes. Set aside the other two thirds to enjoy on their own! Cut the remaining third into ½-inch cubes.
  8. Make the cheesecake crust. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Press the crumbs into a smooth layer on the bottom of the baking pan.
  9. Make the cheesecake filling. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and then the eggs, until just combined. Fold in the sour cream, followed by the brownie cubes.
  10. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center is just set, but still slightly jiggly. Let cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.