Monday, January 23, 2012

Brownie Latte Cheesecake

Let's say, you need to make a birthday cake for someone very special. What do you do? I'd really like to know. Please feel free to leave a comment, telling me about your approach.

Here's what I did for my husband's birthday cake. I stared at all my cookbooks in the bookshelf for a long time, and then grabbed a couple of them and browsed through them, hoping "the" recipe would just jump at me. Pretty scientific, huh? :o). Well, it sure did! I was sold as soon as I saw this beautiful picture of a slice of this rich and decadent Brownie Latte Cheesecake from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. This would be the first time I had made a cheesecake for any birthday. One could argue it's not traditional. My argument: you're getting two desserts for the price of one, so who cares! :o) The fact that Tish gave it two thumbs up certainly helped a lot too!

Happy birthday, sweetie!
A slice of heavenly Brownie Latte Cheesecake



Although this recipe is not hard to make, it does require a little bit of time, but it's so worth it! First you make the coffee-flavored brownie batter and bake it in a 9" spring form pan. Instead of using heavy duty aluminum foil, I used my silicone baking pan to wrap around the spring form pan to prevent water from seeping in during the water bath later on. Although I don't like to bake in silicone pans, I have to say that using them for a water bath is just perfect (and cheaper in the long run compared to heavy duty alu foil, and not to mention "greener").



The coffee-flavored cheesecake filling can be made while the brownie base is baking. To soften cream cheese, I like to use the microwave, that way you don't have to plan hours in advance. It's also a good idea to have your eggs at room temperature. Just place them in a bowl with very hot tap water for about 10 minutes and you have room temp eggs. The other thing I like about this recipe is that a little bit of corn starch is used in the cheesecake filling to help with the thickening. I usually use a little flour but corn starch makes the filling gluten-free (in case you're sharing your cheesecake minus brownie layer with gluten-intolerant friends).

I don't use alcohol when I bake, so as I went to the fridge to grab either milk or cream to substitute the Kahlua, I noticed a carton of eggnog, so I used that instead :o) I just love the aroma of eggnog in baked goods.



Ready for its water bath

After 70 minutes in the oven
 I like to line the inside of my spring form pan with parchment paper. When the cheesecake is baked and cooled, just remove the parchment paper and you're done. You never have to worry about the cheesecake sticking to the side of the pan or cracking in the middle because the parchment paper gives if it has to.

It's very rich so a small slice goes a long way :o)
Look fudgy the brownie base is and how creamy the filling is!
Bon appetit!


Final thoughts/tips:
  • Let me start by saying that I don't like coffee and never drink coffee, but that I love this cheesecake. The coffee flavor is definitely noticeable but it just works so well with the creaminess and sweetness of the filling and the chocolaty and fudgy brownie base.
  • My husband loved the cheesecake too, and gave it a 9.5 out of 10 rating. He was also kind enough to allow me to share some of the cheesecake with a few of my friends. Almost everyone said "OMG" after they took their first bite and asked for the recipe!! No joke!
  • If this has your mouth watering, go and get yourself a copy of The Cake Book and find out for yourself how awesome this dessert is. You can also find the recipe online on Cookstr.
  • Changes: substituted Kahlua with an equal amount of eggnog (you could also use cream or milk).
  • The border on the cheesecake is piped on there using chocolate whipped cream.
  • A big Thank You to Tish for developing this recipe. It's one of my all-time favorite desserts!

22 comments:

  1. Happy birthday to your Husband, Hanaa! Cheesecakes are our standard bday cake selection in this family. All but one of us love them. I have that book, but I don't recall ever baking a recipe from it. Great piping, by the way.

    :)
    ButterYum

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! Cheesecakes totally work as bday cakes!! I've baked many things from that book and have yet to run into a bad recipe. Give this one a try. You won't regret it :o)

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  2. Happy Birthday to your husband Hanaa! The cheesecake looks perfect and your piping is very pretty. Great idea of subbing alcohol with eggnog.

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    1. Thanks Jenn. The eggnog worked really well!

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  3. what a lucky husband! happy birthday, husband of hanaa. baking a cheesecake on top of a brownie sounds soooo good!

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    1. Thanks ECL! It really is veeeeeeery good. Try it sometime!! :o)

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  4. delicious hanaâ. I love the colors, very classy!

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    1. Thanks Freerk. It was very well received by everyone who had a slice :o)

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  5. This looks very delicious Hanaa! I am also very impressed with your piping skills...did you use a parchment cone to pipe in the letters? I think I'll add Tish Boyle's cake book to my collection! :)

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    1. Thanks Janis. I used a ziplock bag to pipe the letters, just cut off a small piece of the corner. I've baked from Tish Boyle's book a few times and have loved it. I'd definitely recommend it.

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  6. OMG indeed! This sounds irresistible! I love all of your tips, and never would have thought of using a silicon pan to protect the springform or lining it with parchment. I'm glad your husband enjoyed his cake! Mine is so happy when I bake for him that he's not picky, so I get to make whatever I want. :-)

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    1. Leslie, I'm glad you like those tips :o) And if you're ever in the mood for something rich and decadent, give this recipe a try. I'm sure your husband would love it :o)

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  7. What a good looking cake, very nice piping! One of my daughters has want a cheesecake for her birthday for several years. She's becoming vegan though so those days may be over. :(

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    1. Thank you, Lois :o) I think there's such a thing as vegan cream cheese. If memory serves me right, ECL (Jen) experimented with that.

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  8. Happy Birthday to your hubby! Your cake looks beautiful and delicious! I have Tish Boyle's book and have baked several recipes from it, I love them all! I happen to love coffee, so this cake sounds perfect! Have a lovely day!

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    1. Thank you, Joyce :o) Isn't her book great? I've baked several recipes from it and all have been a big hit!

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  9. it looks heavenly Hanaa, thanks for sharing the blog. I miss the privilege of being among the first to taste your awesome cakes. Tish Boyle? didn't we pick her book to launch the ABC project. her book is good. unfortunately I don't have access to her book here in Morocco.
    Happy Birthday to your guy:) too bad I'm thousands of miles away to make a cake for my guy. my hubby's birthday was Jan. 18.:) (same month).
    love, Wafae

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    1. Thanks Wafae. Actually, both of our husbands enjoyed this cheesecake for their birthday since it's so close to one another :o)
      We launched the ABC project with Flo Braker's book. You're remembering Tish Boyle because you baked the Tiramisu Genoise Cake from her book one time.

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  10. I'm so glad you posted the results of this mouthwatering creation :) I know, without a doubt, it was the perfect choice to celebrate your hubby's special day. I don't have much experience making cheesecakes, as my Dad claims to dislike them across the board- but, who knows, maybe this particular cake would convert him. I love the added border and chocolate writing... it's those extra little touches that elevated this dessert to a beautiful birthday cake worthy of honoring a loved one. And I love that tip about the parchment paper- let me just clarify... you line the sides as well as the bottom of the pan? I always do the bottom, but it makes sense to use a strip along the sides so that it releases perfectly clean.

    Just read your email, and I'll respond soon... just don't want to put any pressure on you since you're so busy. I hope I'm not being a bother, I'm just happy to be back in touch again and so look forward to hearing from you :) I also have an idea I wanted to run by you that I'll include in my next message.

    Hope all is well with you and you had a wonderful Valentine's Day- I'm wondering if you made anything special?

    Talk to you soon,
    Joy

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  11. Wow that looks like a fancy cake that you'd get at a nice bakery! Bravo Hanaae:)

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