brownie cheesecake torte

The moment the dr bob cooking team spotted this cover recipe* in a stack of mail waiting after another summer trip to Italy, we knew we had to make it. Claes the pasta hating swede gave us the excuse we needed a few days later on a rare trip from where else, Sweden. We made it in the morning so it was waiting for us after then mandatory Jim's cheesesteak (4th and South, Philly) straight from the airport followed by the first of many (mostly action) movies. Of course the real thing is not as overwhelming a sight as the incredible cover photo, but the noncooking team members seemed suitably impressed, independent of the amazing low fat composition. The dr bob cooking team's judgment was more reserved, perhaps jaded by too many now distant memories of a variety of full fat killer chocolate cheesecake combinations. Nonetheless, with its high flavor low fat ratio, this cheesecake is not one to let slip away in the information glut we're all swimming in these days.

Unfortunately the $20,000 prize winning check the creator walked off with must have tilted the side of the brain responsible for the serving and maintenance instructions, since there were none. Nothing about refrigeration before or after serving. Perhaps they assumed it would be eaten in one sitting by the anxiously awaiting intended recipients as soon as it hit room temperature. We refrigerated it and served it cold. Numerous times. In small slices. Fat or no fat, no need to overdo it.

We e-mailed the cooking mag about the unresolved heat transfer aspects of the cheesecake problem. No surprise—they didn't respond. ms_ani did the second run through soon after, giving us the opportunity for fate to intervene with experimental evidence on the question. The remainder of the cake softened up pretty well after 4 hours in the car trunk on a late august afternoon when we extracted it for dessert at home after eating chinese. (Out.) Tastes much richer when soft. The crust was especially soft and pliable, nearly still in its dough state—perhaps because bob had forgotten the carrot baby food and had improvised with some previously opened fermenting pitted prunes from the closet (about 7 or 8?) that we pureed in our hand blender attachment with some hazelnut oil we'd picked up but never used, until they were sufficiently liquefied to replace the baby food? Or so we thought. But the same was true in successive renditions with the baby food. Must contribute to the rich chocolate sauce impression that it gives when served at room temperature?

On our third attempt we forgot to spray the pan first with cooking oil spray and even though it was a nonstick pan, it stuck. Since it was nonstick, we could only use a sharp plastic utensil to hack off the crust. We didn't lose much. But the bottom brownie crust looked more like chocolate glue than brownies, evidence that the prune puree substitute was not at fault in the second attempt.

We have made this cheesecake many more times, more than any other single recipe. Must be the low guilt factor.

* Cooking Light, August 1997, p.71. Contest winner: Pricilla Yee. Also online, but no mention of Pricilla.

ingredients

crust
1 15.1 oz package low fat fudge brownie mix
[read "Nestle's Snackwell's"]
2 t instant coffee granules
1/2 t ground cinnamon 1 4oz
jar carrot baby food
cooking spray
batter
1/2 c sugar
4 t all purpose flour
1 t vanilla extract
1 8oz block Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 8oz block fat free cream cheese, softened
2 large egg whites
2 T skim milk
1 T skim milk
2 T sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa
serving extras
chocolate syrup (optional)
fresh raspberries (optional)

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and about an inch up the sides of a 9 in springform pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine next 5 ingredients and beat at medium speed with a mixer until well blended. Add the egg whites and 2 T milk and beat well. Combine 1/2 c batter, 1 T milk, 2 T sugar, and cocoa in a small bowl, stirring well. Then spoon the remaining original batter alternately with the cocoa batter into the prepared crust. Swirl together using the tip of a knife to achieve a pleasing marbled pattern.
  4. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250. Bake 45 minutes more or until almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with chocolate syrup and fresh raspberries, if desired.

notes

Makes 12 servings, in usual wedge slices. Per slice:
calories 277 (24% from fat), fat 7.5g (sat 3.8g, mono 2.3g, poly 0.9g), protein 7.9g, carb 44.1g, fiber 1.3g, chol 18mg, iron 1.6mg, sodium 338 mg, calc 76mg

bccktrte.htm: 20-sep-2001 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]