The Chocolate Cult: National Cheesecake Day

Friday, July 30, 2010

National Cheesecake Day

Today is "National Cheesecake Day" and so in honor your Chocolate Priestess decided to try and make a cheesecake.  There's a story behind this if you'd care to continue reading.

The very first failure I ever had as a wife when it came to cooking was my first attempt at making a chocolate cheesecake.  You didn't think I'd make a plain cheesecake, did you?  Really?  No, no, no. I was a chocoholic back then and the idea of making anything else was foreign to me.  Of course now it's still foreign but in healthier reasons, right?

While I tried to make this recipe healthier it still is very decadent.  Did I say recipe?  Yes!  I did.  The first I'll be posting here on The Chocolate Cult.  We've had a few other recipes in the interviews I've done but this is my first one.  I based this on a "Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake" dessert I adapted many years ago.  Recently I've seen several food bloggers use peanut butter cookies in various forms as crusts or bottoms for their desserts so I adapted this further.

First, mix up the peanut butter cookies as normal.  I used the Betty Crocker mixes because I had some on sale and since this has three big mixing steps I wanted to say some time.  I followed the directions but made a double batch since I used a 9X13 inch glass pan.  This recipe has a lot of oil, in total about one cup so I used Smart Balance brand which is higher in omega fatty oils which my doctor suggested I switch to.  This recipe also uses a lot of eggs, in total 5 of them, but I used an generic version of Egg Beaters from Kroger.

Then the White Chocolate Acolyte helped me out by spreading the peanut butter cookie mixture in the pan while I went on to step two.  He helped me a tremendous amount because the cookie batter is oily and wanted to slip down the pan's sides.  It would have really slipped if I had to do all these steps by myself.

While he did that I made up a batch of Kroger brand plain brownies according to the directions.  It's open in this picture so it looks very tall.  *smile*  I choose this because even with sales and coupons, it was still almost $1 less than the nearest big brand name variety.  I'm using it with the cheesecake not on it's own so I figured I didn't need to spend even more money.  To that I added 24oz of soften light cream cheese, again the Kroger variety, 1 egg, 1tsp vanilla, 2T cocoa, and 1/3 C sugar (Splenda).

I mixed it all together for about four minutes on the highest setting on my standing mixer in the hopes it would really get all the cream cheese blended well.  Then I carefully spooned it over the peanut butter crust and smoothed it out.  At first I was concerned my crust was too thick but I think this is fine because cheesecake rises only a little bit.

Here are the brief version of the recipe:

"Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake" by The Chocolate Priestess
2 pouches of peanut butter cookie mix made as directions state
1 brownie mix for a 9X13 pan made as directions state
24oz light cream cheese softened
1 egg substitute
1tsp real vanilla
1T cocoa powder
1/3 C sugar

Press peanut butter cookie mix into 9X13 inch pan, flattening it out on the bottom and building up on all four sides.  Mix brownies as directed.  Add in extra egg, vanilla, cocoa, and sugar and mix thoroughly.  Add in softened light cream cheese one package at a time.  Mix for four minutes on highest setting scraping the sides of bowl as necessary.  Spoon over cookie crust and smooth out.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Turn off oven but leave cake inside for five more minutes.  Remove and allow to cool away from the oven for at least one hour before cutting into 16+ pieces.  Refrigerate any left over dessert.  If you don't think it is firm enough after an hour, and I often do not think it is quite what I expect from cheesecake, you can put it in the refrigerator until it's a firmness you like but this is cheesecake, it isn't going to be as firm as a regular cake or brownies or peanut butter cookies.  Baking it longer is not feasible since that will burn the cookie crust.

I ended up letting it set overnight in the refrigerator.  Then we couldn't wait any longer and I served one piece each to myself and the Milk Chocolate Acolyte who was too busy eating it with a smile on his face to tell me if it was good or not.  Below is the picture of those two slices.  It tastes very much like a rich cheesecake but the peanut butter of the crust also baked into the cake to make it a great chocolate and peanut combination. Very decadent so I hope we get guests tonight to help us finish this off.  I have a Sacrament to do tomorrow for you all.  I don't need too much of this cake around.

So please tell me what you did to celebrate "National Cheesecake Day".


Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen said...

Looks pretty tasty to me. And I'm just learning of this wonderful holiday but surely but celelbrate somehow!

The Chocolate Priestess said...

Thanks, Jessie.

Some restaurants are offering special cheesecake deals today like The Cheesecake Factory and Fazoli's but we're sticking with what I made since it turned out so good and so decadent.

mavido79 said...

I celebrated by reading your post about the cheesecake on FB and wishing i lived closer so I could have sampled. LOL! Blessings to the White Chocolate Acolyte for his assistance in this endeavor. Looks like a pretty decadent dessert

The Chocolate Priestess said...

As much as I tried to use lighter, healthier ingredients, it is very very decadent. One of our friends managed two pieces in two hours and that others just gaped at him with their mouths in a shocked expression.

I wonder if I could freeze a piece for you, mavido79?

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