Brownie Crusted Lemon Cheese Cake

Click to enlarge

To eat or not to eat, that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The aches and pains of culinary delicacies,
Or to take pause against a plate of shellfish,
And by opposing, eat them. To cook, to eat;

That’s right. Once again I have been attacked by the “kings disease.” You know they label gout the “kings disease” because back in the day, only the nobles could afford the rich foods that cause the debilitating digression. Here it is a week later and I am still not totally out of the woods. No pain now, but soreness. Gout is the ultimate foodie curse!

Shellfish, beans, and other gout causing dishes aside, we love to take advantage of a good sweet dish. Becky has a giant sweet tooth. She can eat sweets like they are going out of style and never gain a pound, me, on the other hand, yeah, not so much. That doesn’t stop me though. I have to take the sweets in moderation. There’s that word again.

Now I absolutely love brownies. I don’t know what it is, but a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream sends me to a euphoric place. I also love cheesecake. Cherry cheesecake has been a favorite of mine since I was a tyke. So when I saw the recipe for brownie-bottom lemon cheesecake in the May edition of Bon Appétit, I knew immediately that I was going to make it. And we did.

This cheesecake turned out almost perfectly. The brownie bottom was a bit tedious to negotiate; it was very chewy. This was a good thing for eating, but a bit of an issue to slice through when cutting slices of the cake. Other than that, it was perfect. It had the right consistency of a New York cheesecake. We added more lemon than the recipe called for just because I juiced a ton of lemons and we took liberties with the garnish. All in all, I would highly recommend this recipe for those who have an insatiable sweet tooth.
Click to enlarge

Brownie Crusted Lemon Cheesecake
Adapted from May 2009 Bon Appetit



Nonstick vegetable oil spray
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
13/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
8 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


For crust:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray inside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-to 3-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in small bowl; set aside. Combine chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl; place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add both sugars to chocolate mixture and whisk until blended. Let cool until mixture is barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk egg and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Spread brownie batter evenly over bottom of prepared pan.

2. Bake brownie crust until top looks slightly cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; cool crust to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:

1.Place pan with cooled crust on rimmed baking sheet. 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 1/2 cup sour cream and whipping cream. Pour filling over brownie crust in pan; smooth top.

2. We used a water bath. Bake cake until puffed, light golden, and set around edges (center will still move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes.