Pam Lemoine's Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 10-12 Servings

This recipe combines two of the most addictive substances in the known universe: brownies and cheesecake. Therefore, we had to give it top marks in our 2003 Stirrin' It Up for the Holidays recipe contest. As an added benefit, the white and dark layers of this rich confection make a striking presentation on your special holiday dessert plates.

1 (19.8-21.5-ounce) package fudge brownie mix
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom only of a 10-inch springform pan. Mix the brownie batter according to package directions for chewy brownies. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake 35 minutes or until set. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well then stir in chocolate chips. Once brownies are done, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Pour cream cheese mixture over the slightly cooled brownies. Return pan to the oven and bake 50 minutes or until center is set. Turn oven completely off, leave a small opening in the door and allow cake to cool in the oven for about an hour. Chill cake in refrigerator thoroughly, preferably overnight. Remove the side and bottom of the pan and place cake on a platter. Garnish with your favorite whipped topping. Decorate with chocolate shavings or as desired.

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