Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Brian, my husband, loves cheesecake. It is always his birthday request. Always. Which is why I have, like, 100 different cheesecake recipes posted here and there. However, this Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake is his favorite, if only evidenced by the fact that this is the one and only cheesecake that has made a repeat appearance on his birthday.

I mean, what’s not to love? Smooth, creamy cheesecake surrounding decadent, fudgey brownie bites, and smothered in a rich chocolate ganache. Really. Be still my heart.

I posted this cheesecake over three years ago when the blog was new and my pictures were b.a.d. I’ve since deleted that post and am honoring this glorious, phenomenal cheesecake with better pictures and a new post. Stunning, delicious and absolutely one of the best cheesecakes known to man, this Brownie Mosaic cheesecake needs to be made immediately by someone other than me. I mean, it is January after all, and I’m trying to be a leeetle bit better about eating decadent, calorie-laden foods when the whole world is making low-cal resolutions. Please, someone else, take one for the team, ok? And enjoy every bite in my behalf.

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

One Year Ago: Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls
Two Years Ago: Fluffy Couscous
Three Years Ago: Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Note: I doubled the crust because I like a lot of crust-to-cheesecake ratio, but if you don't, no worries, the crumb crust ingredients list the amounts for a regular or doubled crust. Also, for the brownies, you can basically use any brownie recipe made for a 9X13-inch pan - I would suggest a recipe that is dense and fudgey like the ones below. The brownies can be made a day in advance of making the cheesecake and refrigerated if you want to minimize prep work. The entire cheesecake, itself, can be baked, cooled and refrigerated a day in advance of serving.

Ingredients

    Brownies:
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Crumb Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups or 5 ounces (3 cups or 10 ounces to double) finely ground cookies such as chocolate wafers or chocolate Teddy Grahams
  • 5 tablespoons (10 tablespoons to double) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (2/3 cup to double) granulated sugar
  • 1/8 (1/4 teaspoon to double) teaspoon salt
  • Cheesecake:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups chilled brownie cubes (from recipe above)
  • Ganache:
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (can use 1/2 cup chocolate chips)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. For the brownies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with the ends of foil extending over the two short sides of the pan. Lightly grease foil. In a large microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter on high for one minute. Stir. Repeat the process at 50% power until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the sugar. Blend in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and salt, stirring to mix well. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  2. Bake the brownies for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack. Once cool, use the foil handles to remove the brownies. Refrigerate the brownies until chilled (1-2 hours) and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Refrigerate the cubes until ready to fold into the cheesecake. You'll have more brownie cubes than needed in the cheesecake recipe so use your best judgment about what to do with those leftover brownie babies.
  3. For the crust, stir together the crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 10-inch springform pan. Fill right away with cheesecake or chill up to 2 hours.
  4. For the cheesecake filling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. With an electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down the bowl between additions.
  6. Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the filled springform pan on a larger baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake is set 3 inches from the edge but still slightly jiggly in the center (watch the time carefully, you may need more or less baking time based on your exact oven temperature).
  7. Cool the cheesecake completely in the springform pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, top with the ganache glaze.
  8. For the ganache glaze, scald (heat just below boiling) the butter and cream in a saucepan (or in a Pyrex cup in the microwave). Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream/butter mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Stir the mixture together until completely smooth and silky (it might look grainy at first but it will come together if the cream is sufficiently warm and the chocolate is chopped finely). Add the vanilla and sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread over the cheesecake. Chill until ready to serve.
  9. To serve, unmold the cheesecake from the springform pan, cut the cheesecake into slices and serve.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/brownie-mosaic-cheesecake/
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

58 Responses to Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

  1. Kim in MD says:

    Oh my gosh, Mel! Brownies and cheesecake in one dessert? Count me in! I can see why this is Brian’s favorite dessert! Your photos are stunning. I can’t wait to make this cheesecake! :-)

  2. BrookeO says:

    This looks delicious. I’m planning a big dinner in a month and was considering a different dessert, but now I’m thinking I may need to try this instead.

  3. I’m drooling over here. I’m going to pin it and save it for sometime that isn’t January. When I saw my OB a few days ago (I’m 27 weeks), when he was looking at my weight gain on my chart, he smiled and said, “I guess you had a good Christmas.” So, brownie mosaic cheesecake is not in my immediate future:D

  4. B. Keefer says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! I think I just went into a Diabetic Coma just looking at that! I’m going to have to pin this and make it for dd’s birthday. She would love it.

  5. Christine says:

    Cheesecake is my husband’s favorite too, and always what he requests for his birthday! We will definately be trying this one!

  6. Heather says:

    It’s lovely, and sounds delicious. Why-oh-why do I not like chocolate with cheesecake? Or caramel with cheesecake? I’ll have to share this with some folks in my life who are not weird like me ;)

  7. Valerie says:

    I cannot wait to try this! It looks amazing, one of the best sounding desserts ever, and I’m a BIG dessert person!

  8. Andrea says:

    YUM! My husband is a big cheesecake lover too. I can’t wait to surprise him with this one–maybe for Valentine’s Day?

  9. Well I am not surprised at all that this is your husband’s favorite! This cheesecake looks decadent and delicious!

  10. Mickie says:

    Aaaaand I can see my new years resolution of chocolate only on holidays flittering out the window. I cant wait until VALENTINES for something like this! How did I never see the one before? Maybe i’ll have to celebrate MLK Jr. Day in a BIG way this year eh?

  11. brownies + cheesecake are two of the best things in the world

  12. Maegan says:

    Beautiful!! My husband doesn’t like cheesecake, but he LOVES brownies. Maybe this will be just the conversion tool he needs. Thanks so much!

  13. Chris says:

    This cheesecake looks and sounds AMAZING!

  14. Dorcas says:

    Lol, this is funny…yesterday my answer in the sweepstakes was for fav things to bake…’cheesecakes and brownies’-because they’re my fav to eat (-; Thanks, Mel…now I HAVE to make it! To be honest, I have all the ingredients already…don’t even have to shop!

  15. I love cheesecake but I’ve never made it. This one looks amazing.

    2 Kids and Tired Cooks

  16. Bronya says:

    WoW, looks fab! I’ll gladly take one for the team, in fact I might have a few slices and make you all feel a bit better!

  17. Ariane says:

    I made this for my son’s birthday last May, it was a really good cheesecake, and have wanted an excuse to make it again. I didn’t notice a bad picture, I mean the name speaks for itself. I have wondered why you had so many cheesecake recipes (which I love), now I know!

  18. Melody says:

    I don’t like cheesecake that much, but this looks good.

  19. Lesley says:

    Oh… too bad Olivia’s birthday is 6 months away. She is huge cheesecake and brownie lover. We could celebrate a half birthday couldn’t we?? BTW… one of your little guys was getting a lesson about “compliments” today in school. He raised his hand and said, “My mom has a cooking blog and she gets compliments all the time about the recipes she shares.” He was proud of you , I snickered to myself :)

  20. Carrie Bigger says:

    I’m not a huge cheesecake fan. I know, shun me now. But, I think I could like this!

  21. Jaqui says:

    Mel you are amazing! I simply don’t know how you do it all while being pregnant with #5. I just love your site and visit almost everyday. You’ve saved my bacon more than once for a quick dinner. This cheesecake looks divine, we have company coming next weekend and I’d love to try it for them.

  22. Bonnie Fuhriman says:

    Mel this looks amazing! I was wondering if you could do this in a pie tin or an 8×8″ pan. I am in a dinner swap group and I don’t have 4 springform pans and a whole cheesecake would be way too much to give each family.

  23. Dawn says:

    I would love to make this cheesecake, but how many cups of brownie bites do you use? I do not want to put too many because it might not cook all the way. Thank you!! :)

  24. Mel says:

    Dawn – you’ll use 2 cups of brownie cubes (listed under the Cheesecake ingredients).

  25. Mel says:

    Bonnie – yes, you could probably split the batter into pie tins or smaller pans – just watch the baking time carefully since it will be significantly less. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing you could maybe get 3-4 pie tin-sized cheesecakes out of the batch. Good luck if you try it!

  26. I just found you via Pinterest and I made your Southwest Crispy Chicken Wraps and they are to die for!

  27. grace says:

    i love when two desserts are married like this–it’s usually a marvelous union, and what we have here is no exception!

  28. Rachel says:

    I made this when i was home from college over the weekend and my dad said it was THE best cheesecake he has ever had!! And believe me, between my mom, me, and his childhood in New York the man has had his fair share of cheesecake!! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe (:

  29. mscall00 says:

    I was looking for a decadent dessert for my sisters birthday! I think we have a winner here:) thanks

  30. Lacee says:

    I made this on Sunday because it looked so good, and it was indeed delicious! The only thing that didn’t turn out was the crust. The edge of the crust was rock hard! I couldn’t even cut it with a fork or sharp knife! The middle part was fine, just the perimeter was hard. I put in the correct amount of ingredients, has this ever happened to you with your crusts? I did notice there was grease and oil (from the butter) oozing out around the bottom of the pan. Maybe 5 T is too much butter?

  31. Mel says:

    Lacee – I think you are probably on to something with the butter. My springform pan is pretty tight so I haven’t noticed the butter leaking out of the crust while baking – if the seal on your pan isn’t quite as tight, I can see that being a problem. Trying it with a little less butter or lining the bottom of your pan with foil while baking may help.

  32. [...] Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake from Mel’s Kitchen Café [...]

  33. Zeka says:

    Are teddy grahams at all similar to Oreo cookies? We don’t have teddy Grahams in australia, we do have tiny teddies which look similar but I’m not sure if they are the same and if using Oreos isn’t going to kill the recipe then I think that will be my chocolate cookie of choice.
    Thank you for posting the recipe. I can’t wait to try making it.

  34. [...] Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake from Mel’s Kitchen Café [...]

  35. Tiffany says:

    I made this for my birthday today. I can’t wait to eat it tonight! Thanks Mel for the birthday gift!

  36. Mel says:

    Zeka – you could definitely use oreo cookies for this crust!

  37. Terri A. says:

    I made this for a friend’s birthday today. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten such rave reviews on a dessert that I’ve made. Thanks! I can’t wait to try your other cheesecake recipes.

  38. emily says:

    I made this yesterday for my boss’ birthday. It was great! Everyone loved it and said it could’ve come from a restaurant. Thank you for the recipe!

    That being said, it was pretty time-consuming to make … worth it, but definitely took a while with all the steps and whatnot.

  39. DEO says:

    This cheesecake was DELICIOUS!

    I just wanted to leave a note to say that butter leaked out from the bottom of my pan as well….BUT….my crust wasn’t hard (Probably because I used the recipe for a single crust). My cheesecake cracked a little, but the ganache hid the crack very well! :)

    Is there a particular brand of springform pan you recommend Mel to avoid the leaks?

  40. Mel says:

    DEO – you know, I’ve had my springform pans so long the brand name has worn off and I don’t remember where I got them but if it makes everyone feel better, depending on the recipe, sometimes my springform pans still leak a bit, especially with buttery crusts. I usually line the bottom of the pan and up the sides a bit with foil to help out.

  41. Zee says:

    Do you think that I could put caramel instead of chocolate ganache? Or would it be too sweet?

  42. Mel says:

    Zee – I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure. It would probably make it more sweet than the chocolate ganache – but if you don’t mind sweetness, it might be fine.

  43. eclecticdeb says:

    Bad, bad Karma to rip off someones recipe and not give credit. Sheesh.

  44. eclecticdeb says:

    my bad…I now see that you put in a nod to Smitten Kitchen.

  45. Georgia says:

    Is this cheesecake better cold?

  46. Mel says:

    Georgia – yes, this cheesecake tastes better chilled.

  47. Georgia says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. Mel, you have the best recipes. This was SO good. Even better than the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake (and I thought nothing could top that!) We loved this cheesecake soooooo much! Thank you :DD

  48. I’m a huge cheesecake lover too but I don’t get to make it much because I get way to frustrated/emotional when there’s a gazillion cracks on it after baking! But you’re totally inspiring me to give cheesecakes another try because this looks amazing! Well done!

  49. April says:

    I made this for Easter and it was AMAZING! Thank you!

  50. Shanna P says:

    Made this for Easter and it turned out perfect!!! Love trying your recipes. Thank you!

  51. Tammy says:

    Hi, this looks amazing! But i was just wondering if my brownie batter could be from a box inside of making them from scratch? Thanks

    • Mel says:

      Tammy – you could make the brownies from any recipe/box you like. I don’t use boxed mixes so I don’t know how many brownies a box mix would yield compared to the brownie recipe in my cheesecake post so you’ll probably have to do some altering/experimenting.

  52. Tammy says:

    Hi Mel, Thanks for the tip. Just one more question, when you say 3 packages of cream cheese, does that mean the recipe requires 3 package of 8oz each of cream cheese ? or means 3 package of cream cheese which is equal to 8Oz all together ?? So does that mean i need to get 3x225grams of cream cheese? Thanks!

  53. Glenn says:

    Just made two! One for my wifes work place and one for my Christmas party at work. I added pecans to the brownie mixture for a little crunch, it is crazy delicious!

  54. Tami says:

    Hello!
    Have you ever swirled your caramel sauce into the cheesecake with the brownie pieces?

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