Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours chilling
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 16 servings
â€¢1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
â€¢4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
â€¢1 cup sugar
â€¢4 eggs, lightly beaten
â€¢3 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
â€¢Fresh raspberries and chocolate curls, optional
â€¢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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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 of the cheesecake batter into crust; dollop with half of reserved chocolate cheesecake batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.