I have made this recipe about 15 times, and this is what I have found. Only use Philadelphia cream cheese. Never use western family, great value, or Kroger. There is a huge difference. If you find that your cheesecake has cracks in the top, it is because you are not allowing it to cool at room temperature for long enough. I always add 2 cups of mini chocolate chips. 1/2 cup is just not enough. You can either make the whole cheesecake in one sitting, or you can make the brownie crust a day ahead of time. It makes no difference. It has no need for whipped cream, chocolate syrup, etc. I usually have to bake my cheesecake for more like 1hr and 10min. I wait until I can see little brown areas on the surface. I have under cooked this plenty of times, and if there are not brown spots, it is undercooked. When in doubt, leave it in the oven! This is an expensive cheesecake, and you don't want to waste all those ingredients.
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I have made this recipe about 15 times, and this is what I have found. Only use Philadelphia...