This is the very first cheesecake I've ever made that didn't come in box where all you had to add was milk. I definitely need to practice this a bit more. But the good news is that it came out all right and was incredibly delicious! I had to borrow a springform pan from a co-worker, so I definitely need to get one of my own. My birthday is next month, so I will be adding that to my wish list. This was a pretty easy recipe, especially since the crust is made from brownie mix. You just have to patient enough for it to bake and cool before eating it. I'm hoping to be able to spend more time in the kitchen this coming week, but I did have 2 new classes start that will be keeping me busy. I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend, enjoying the warm weather. Spring is on it's way! :)
1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries and chocolate curls, optional
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for chewy fudge brownies. Set aside 2/3 cup brownie batter; spread remaining batter into a greased 9-in. springform pan.
Place pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes (brownies will barely test done). Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla on low speed just until combined. Stir 1/3 cup into reserved brownie batter; set aside. Spoon half the cheesecake batter into crust; dollop with half of reserved chocolate cheesecake batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the chocolate cheesecake batter.
Place in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325° for 1-1/2 hours or until surface is no longer shiny and center is almost set.
Remove pan from water bath and foil. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 16 servings.