Cheesecake and Brownie, who would have thought? Two of the most famous desserts in one fascinating combination. Luckily, making a vegan version is simple enough and the result...heavenly. I'd already made a cheesecake which came out great, so all I needed was the brownie to go with it. I found a great eggless brownie recipe on Chow Times and adapted it to make it richer and more fudge-like. Not all the recipes I try come out perfectly in the first attempt, but with this one everything was just right.
This brownie mix is so good, the top part rises beautifully, creating a lighter, cakey texture, while the base layer remains dense and fudgy. The deep chocolaty, crunchy brownie with its subtle coffee and vanilla aroma matches perfectly the creamy, orange-infused cheesecake. The combo is utterly irresistible and addictive. Just have a look at the pictures/recipes that inspired me to make this delicious dessert: David Lebovitz, Food Network, My Kitchen.
This recipe makes a 23 x 23 cm (9"x9") cake (16 pieces).
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease the pan (bottom and sides) with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease again and dust the whole pan with flour (I prefer to do this instead of using aluminium foil and the cake comes off easily).
- 1 cup organic plain white flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
- Sift together the first 4 ingredients, add the sugar and mix well with a whisk.
- In a small bowl combine 1 cup soy milk with 1 Tb apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle (easy way to make buttermilk).
- In another bowl whisk 2 heaped tsp egg replacer with 4 Tb cold water until fluffy.
- In a double boiler or microwave, melt 4 squares (50 g) 60% chocolate with 5 Tb vegan butter. Melt only half way, then remove and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted. Let cool and add 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Mix 1 tsp instant coffee (1 x 1.8 g sachet) with 1 Tb hot water. Let cool and add it to the chocolate mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spoon or whisk until well combined (don't overmix). Reserve 1/2 - 3/4 cup of batter and mix the rest with 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts (alternatively use almonds, walnuts or pecans). Pour the nutty mix in the prepared pan and even it out with the back of a spoon.
- Blend 1/2 pack (175 g) firm silken tofu until smooth. Add 1/2 tub (110 g) vegan cream cheese and mix till smooth.
- Mix 1 heaped tsp egg replacer with 2 Tb cold water until fluffy. Add to the cream together with 1 Tb corn flour, 1/4 cup agave nectar and 1 tsp orange extract. Blend until incorporated. Pour into a bowl, add the zest of a medium orange and mix.
- Carefully spoon the mixture over the brownie layer and even it out.
- Drop dollops of the reserved brownie and create swirls with the tip of a knife, only between the top brownie and cream cheese layers.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in a few places to check if it's done. It should still have some thick cream on it, but no brownie batter. The cheesecake will set properly when cool.
- Remove from the oven onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut the cake into 16 squares. For clean edges, lightly oil the blade of the knife before cutting. The parchment paper does a great job retaining a little bit of moisture, so the pieces will come off very easily. Place on a serving dish and enjoy!
I wish I could tell you how much this cake keeps in the fridge, but it got over in just a few minutes :)
~~~ UPDATE - February 12, 2012 ~~~
Luan, who is a passionate animal rights advocate, shared these beautiful pictures of the Cheesecake Brownie. Thank you, Luan!
Another beautiful story came from Tina who was so excited about this dessert. Thank you Tina for sharing the pictures and the recipe:)
~~~ UPDATE - September 01, 2012 ~~~
Ellie was very kind to share these pictures of her gorgeous cheesecake brownie. It looks incredibly moist, doesn't it? Thank you, Ellie!
~~~ UPDATE - December 20, 2012 ~~~
Sonal, the author of Vegan Mantra, created these mouthwatering cheesecake brownies using cashew nut-based cream cheese and made them even more decadent by adding vegan chocolate chips. Another winner!:) You can find the adapted recipe in Sonal's post Bownie & Cheese Cake - All in One. Thank you, Sonal, for spreading the magic:)
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