This past Sunday, January 16th, 2011 was my birthday. I have a feeling you may already know this since I was overwhelmed with the number of the wonderful friends out there that either called, texted, Facebook”ed” or tweeted me this weekend to wish me a Happy Birthday and for that I thank you.
I had never thought of making my own birthday cake until recently. With this upcoming year being one that could go any number of ways for me, I was excited at the opportunity to set up the perfect conditions for my birthday candles. You see, I’m slightly superstitious so I wanted to make sure that my candles were in the perfect environment for when I were to make my wish and blow them out. And I couldn’t think of a better environment than a Double Chocolate Cheesecake.
There is just something so comforting and decadent about cheesecake. I also happen to like some crunch to my cake, so when I stumbled upon Anna Olson’s Double Chocolate Cheesecake, I know I found the right one. As you can see, the cheesecake portion is chocolate and the bottom brownie layer is also chocolate with some white chocolate thrown in for fun since calories don’t count on birthdays…
Confession time. I got to challenge myself on this project. I’ve never made a cheesecake of any type and I’ve never used a springform cake pan. Yes, I know, I’m showing my newbie baking status by admitting to that but I’m proud to say I’ve conquered both now. And whoever invented the springform cake pan is brilliant!
As for the wish, it’s a really good one, but it has to stay a secret for it to come true. I’m superstitious, remember?
Double Chocolate Cheesecake (From Anna Olson’s Sugar on the Food Network)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2×8 ounce (250 g) packages of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
- For brownie layer, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch springform cake pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper.
- Melt butter and pour into a larger bowl. Sift cocoa into butter and stir in sugar. Add eggs to mixture, blending well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt (do not sift). Add to cocoa mixture and blend. Stir in white chocolate chips. Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes, until firm. Cool completely before filling.
- For cheesecake layer, place chopped chocolate in a bowl of a pot of gently simmering water (be sure bowl does not touch the water) and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Beat cream cheese until fluffy with electric beaters or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed. Slowly add sugar while mixing and beat in vanilla. Pour in whipping cream and whip into cream cheese on high speed, until mixture becomes firm and holds a peak. Scrape chocolate into mixture and blend quickly. Scrape filling onto brownie base and spread evenly.
- Chill cake for at lest 2 hours before slicing. To garnish, remove springform pan and drizzle top with white chocolate.