Even though there are four parts to this cheesecake it all comes together fairly easily. I made the brownies one night before and chilled them in the fridge for easier cutting. The brownie recipe makes a lot so I would suggest to make just half the recipe (unless you want extra for snacking or some other recipe).
I did double the crust for my cheesecake but found it a bit overwhelming. With the brownies and the ganache already so rich, the Oreo crust was a bit too much for me and some of the tasters (Latif loved it as is). Next time I would try plain chocolate wafers, or just use the original quantity.
I also completely screwed up while making the ganache. Instead of melting the butter and cream I melted the butter with the chocolate. I still ploughed on and added warm cream to the mixture and it turned out beautifully. So you don't really need to go through a food processor and can make the ganache the old fashioned way.
Recipe Source - Given as is from Smitten Kitchen with some changes of my own.
For the Brownies
113 Grams Dark Chocolate (I used 70%)
170 Gms Unsalted Butter
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1. Preheat oven to 175 Degrees C (350°F). Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.
4. Cool brownies, then cut them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. You will need only 2 Cups for the cheesecake. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.
For The Crumb Crust
141 Grams Oreo Cookies or Chocolate Wafers (Finely Ground)
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (Melted)
1/3 Cup Castor Sugar (I used granulated and I could feel the sugar in my mouth even after baking)
1/8 Tsp Salt
Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
For the Cheesecake
680 Grams (or 24 ounce) Cream Cheese (Softened)
4 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Brownie Cubes (from recipe above)
1. Make crumb crust as directed above for 24-centimeter cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Make filling and bake cake: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
3. Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan.(Very important - I used a cookie sheet with sides - a lot of the butter from the crust seeped out on the pan)
4. Bake in middle of oven for 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.
5. When completely cool, top with following glaze.
For The Ganache Glaze
85 Gms (3 ounces) Semisweet chocolate, broken up, or 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
57 Gms (2 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
4 Tbsp Icing Sugar.
1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream and butter to simmer and pour over the chocolate.
2. Let it stand for 1 minute, then stir well till chocolate is completely melted.
3. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill cheesecake in fridge for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.