Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thanks, Mom

Growing up, my mom (read: baker and cook-extraordinaire) allowed us to pick out our favorite dessert for our birthday "cake" - and no matter what we chose, she made it happen (or at least that's how I remember it going down - for certain, I know I was never disappointed when the big day rolled around).

For many (many) years, my mom didn't even have to ask me - she knew the answer was always "cheesecake, please" (it's best to respond very politely to those willing to make you homemade delicious-ness).

Not sure how many years this unnatural obsession lasted but going through my childhood pictures last year to make our wedding slideshow, it quickly became apparent that [fill in the blank variety of] cheesecake became as much a part of my life as my family for a good long while.

Since today is the celebration of no-one-in-particular's birthday (although I could claim a late - oops - Mother's Day tribute)... more-like "had a 3 lb hunk of Philly picked up on super-sale at Costco", I decided it would just be down-right uncelebratory (I just verified that this isn't a word - but I like the sound of it) of me to not share this delicious Brownie Bottom Lemon Cheesecake.

It was only fitting that I find a recipe calling for an incredible amount of cream cheese given how much I currently had staring back at me from the fridge, but as it turns out, this recipe is best (if you're like me and your 9-in springform pan only has 1.5-2 inch sides) if you make only 2/3 of the filling. So while I didn't (and you can't make me!!) change any of the ingredients, here's that version for people with vertically challenged springform pans:

nonstick cooking spray
6 TBSP flour
1.5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 c unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

3 1/3 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/6 c sugar
1 1/3 TBSP flour
2/3 TBSP finely grated lemon peel
2 2/3 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 1/3 eggs
1 1/3 egg yolk
1/3 c sour cream
1/6 c heavy whipping cream

1 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside of springform pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in small bowl. Combine chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl; place bowl over pan with simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Add both sugars to chocolate and whisk until blended. Let cool until mixture is barely warm, about 10 minutes. Whisk egg and vanilla into chocolate. Fold flour mixture into chocolate and spread brownie batter evenly over bottom of prepared pan.

Bake crust until top looks slightly cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached about 20 minutes. Cool crust to room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, flour, lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Beat in 1/3 c sour cream and whipping cream. Pour filling over brownie crust and smooth top. Bake until top is puffed, light golden, and set around edges (center will still move slightly), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove cake from oven; maintain oven temperature.

Spoon 1 cup sour cream in dollops over top of cake and then spread gently over top with offset spatula. Return cake to oven and bake 5 minutes. Run small sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place pan in refrigerator and chill at least 5 hours.

*I made the brownie crust one night and finished making the filling the following day

What birthday (or any-day) desserts are you obsessed with?


  1. My grandmother always made me Butterscotch Pies when I was a kid because I don't really like cake. It's been a long time since I had one, though, since she was sick for so long before she died. Nobody can make them like her! I've only tried once and failed miserably.

    I love cheesecake, too, by the way, as long as it's not too soft. I hate soft cheesecakes....

  2. Yum. Jason has to have banana pudding for his birthday. It's so good. I am usually a sucker for ice cream cakes from Zack's.

  3. Now that is one recipe I will HAVE to try...due to my lemon obsession! Looks delicious as always!
    And off topic, how funny is it that the word verification box want me to type "OVENess"? ;)

  4. I'm excited about your next recipe!

    And my family (maternal grandfather's side) are original Moravians in this area. My grandmother used to make sugarcake, cookies, etc. all the time. She could make the cookies SO THIN.

    So yes. There are recipes. But I've never tried it myself because Winkler's fresh sugarcake is SO GOOD.

  5. yum yum yum - I am obsessed with Death by Chocolate made by Signature Desserts, which is about 10 minutes from my house. Paul orders one for my birthday each year and I mentally savor the taste until the next year (not to mention the caloric intake is enough to meet my yearly dessert intake).
    Cheesecakes haven't always been my thing, but I'm starting to get into it. I'll have to add your recipe to my list!


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