Is this any time to be eating cheesecake? I mean, just when the weather is grand and we are beginning to think about what we will look like in a bathing suit soon?
Well, yes, if you don’t eat the whole cake and maybe you cut down on other high-calorie items or maybe work out a little longer. Indulgence is fine, IMHO, as long as it doesn’t get to be a habit.
And yes, if you will be observing Shavuot next weekend. This Jewish holiday celebrates the giving of the law (Torah) to the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt. But somehow, for celebration sake anyway, there’s usually a cheesecake involved. Scholars say it may have to do with the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to the Holy Land, which is described as the land of “Milk and Honey.”
I think this year I will serve a different kind of cheesecake: Brownies with Cheesecake. In fact, they are already in my freezer for the company I am expecting.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
1 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
Lightly grease a 13”x9” baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan set over low heat (or in the top part of a double boiler set over barely simmering water). When the butter and chocolate have melted, blend them and stir in 2 cups of the sugar and 3 of the eggs. Whisk ingredients thoroughly. Add the flour, salt, nuts (if used) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and stir in the ingredients with a large wooden spoon. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until thoroughly blended. Spoon blobs of the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate batter. Cut through the cheese, making swirls in the chocolate mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. Cut into bars with a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Refrigerate. Makes 24-36 pieces