Double Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Wet Walnuts
This double chocolate brownie cheesecake is worth every sinful calorie! A smooth, dense chocolate cheesecake filling is baked over a fudge-y brownie base, then crowned with gooey, buttery, salted caramel wet walnut topping. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven!
Ragweed needs to go die in a fire.
Do I need to say more? Probably not but I am going to anyway, at the risk of causing you to completely lose your appetite.
I can’t stop sneezing. I can’t stop schnotting. I’m itching all over my scalp, forehead, eyes, and somehow it seems, behind my face. I just want to rip it off. I am on a steady dose of Zyrtec but it’s not even touching it. I was so desperate to get a full breath of oxygen (without sneezing) that I also took Mucinex and even raided my son’s Patanol prescription, but I’m way too far gone for any of that to do a bit of good. I can’t even function. Don’t ask me how I managed to snap these pics, it was all a blur of spastic sneezes, rubs, wipes, and groans. I am miserable and the only thing I can do is to knock myself unconscious with Benadryl and hope that my inflamed membranes will calm themselves down by tomorrow.
The good news is, I can still taste. And I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this Double Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake needs to go on your must-make list.
It’s creamy and dense, just like any New York style cheesecake ought to be, but with the added indulgence of deep, rich, chocolate. As if that weren’t enough, we are baking it over a thin layer of the fudge-iest cocoa brownie, and then topping it with toasty walnuts that have been drowned in gooey, butter-y, salted caramel sauce. It just doesn’t get any better!
You may notice this recipe states that the cheesecake should be baked in a cake pan. This is a little unorthodox, I know. Most of the time, cheesecakes are baked in a springform pan with removable sides. But here’s the thing: a cheesecake wants to be baked in a water bath, so it gets gentle even heat and doesn’t crack. But those darn springform pans always, always leak. Even when they are wrapped in foil, that water somehow makes its way in there and then you have a wet bottom. That’s just a crying shame. Making cheesecake is an event. You don’t want to go to all of that trouble and then end up with a soggy crust.
I have found that the removable sides aren’t even necessary. If the pan is well-greased, and the cheesecake is well chilled (it’s best to make it the day before so it can chill overnight), it can be flipped out of the pan relatively easily. Sometimes, if things are really cold, the fat that was used to grease the pan can harden a bit and complicate things, but if you warm up the outside of the pan with a hot towel, it re-liquifies and things slide right out. I flip it face down onto a big plate and then flip it right side up onto a platter.
The other nice thing about this size pan is how tall and majestic! Talk about a jaw-dropper. Your guests will be so impressed. And just wait ’til they taste it! This is one incredibly unforgettable dessert.
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Double Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Wet Walnuts
For the Brownie Base
- 2/3 cup (133.33 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (28.67 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons (73.93 g) unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour
For the Chocolate Cheesecake
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 24 ounces (680.39 g) cream cheese, (3 bricks), softened
- 4 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (119 ml) heavy cream
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) bittersweet chocolate,, melted
For the Salted Caramel Wet Walnut Topping
- 1 batch Simply Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup (117 g) walnut halves
Make the Brownie Base:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, generously mist an 8-inch diameter by 3-inch high straight-sided cake pan with non-stick spray, and line with a circle cut from parchment.
- Place the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter, and microwave in 30-second increments until melted. Stir together until smooth.
- Add in the egg and vanilla, stirring until blended, then fold in the flour.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 15 minutes.
Make the Chocolate Cheesecake:
- Place the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the cream cheese, mixing on medium-low speed until combined.
- Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
- Stir in the cream, melted chocolate, and vanilla, and transfer the cheesecake batter to the prepared pan.
- Rap the unbaked cheesecake sharply on the counter a few times, to eliminate any large air bubbles.
- Place it in a larger baking dish, and pour very hot water into the larger dish until it comes up about 1-inch around the cheesecake pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F, and bake for another 65 minutes, or until set around the edges but still slightly jiggly towards the center.
- Turn off the oven, and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven for at least an hour.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight before flipping out of the pan and onto a serving plate. (Wrap in a hot towel to help release the cheesecake from the pan.)
Make the Salted Caramel Wet Walnuts:
- Place the walnut halves on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Transfer the walnuts to a small bowl and fold together with the salted caramel sauce.
- Spoon the topping over the cheesecake just before serving.
Oh, my gosh. I want dibs on one of those beautiful slices! What a terrific recipe.
I need those walnuts! Yum!!!
Hi Allie. I would like to try to bake a cake following your recipes! Do I have to bake the brownies base and cheesecake in two separate pan and stack them together after done?
May I know how’s the texture of the brownies? Is it fudgy type? Is it okay if I add in some nuts?
Hi Jenny! There is no need to use separate pans, just follow the recipe directions as written. The brownie base is partially baked and then the cheesecake batter gets poured over. Then the whole thing finishes baking together. The brownie is very fudgy. You can add nuts if you’d like. I hope that helps! Good luck and enjoy 🙂
This is so decadent! Spring form pans do have a tendency to leak. I never thought of just using a regular cake pan.
It works fine! There must’ve been some kind of conspiracy by the springform people, lol! They’ve convinced us that there’s no other way. But it works! Just spray the pan well and make sure the cheesecake is chilled nice and firm. Thanks so much for the sweet comment Laura!
Hello, Allie! This cake is Perfection! I’d like to make it, but i have one. Do you bake cheesecake batter on top of allready baked brownie?
Yes! The brownie is only partially baked, so yes. Thank you so much for the excellent question Kate! I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear about that. I hope you enjoy!
Ermagherd this looks insanely amazing Allie!!! What a masterpiece!
Thanks Chris! Lol! 🙂