This one is for all of you who love mixes. Don’t worry: you’re not alone!
From time to time when I bake for people, they ask if I used a mix. I’m never sure how to take that question, other than to find it rude. The thing is, I bake mostly without mixes, or as a layperson would put it, “from scratch.” But when I use mixes, I usually doctor them or put them into a form for which they weren’t intended.
But either way, I’m creating and baking. And even if I were using the mix as directed, does that somehow make the baked good less legitimate? It’s like using a bread machine. Does using the machine take down the integrity of the process? I don’t really get that point of view. I’m more about being grateful to the baker for the time put into making the food and happy for the end result, which should be tasty. That’s all, folks.
Certain questions should just never be asked, like whether you used a mix. In that category is anything about your weight, whether your Prada knockoff bag is actually Prada, or the unanswerable musings from so-called concerned people who ask, “Don’t you think you’re taking on too much?”
The answers to those questions are, in order:
1) (Insert look of speechless astonishment).
2) It’s Prada, you nosy witch.
I promise you, I like people. I just don’t like their questions sometimes.
You know what I do like? Cheesecake. Pretty much whenever and however it comes into my life. And this one is a definite cheat in the best way.
The base of this cheesecake is a brownie mix. I used a gluten-free mix so that Kenny could eat it, but then he reminded me that he doesn’t really like cheesecake, the weirdo. Oh, well. I tried.
Part of the brownie mix is used to make the crust, and the rest is mixed into the cheesecake batter. It’s really quite easy. And the result is a simple, chocolate cheesecake that you can add whatever mix-ins to that you like. I just added chocolate chips, but go crazier if you want!
I love the fact that this cheesecake only uses two blocks of cream cheese and that it requires no sour cream or yogurt. Once you have the brownie mix, you’re pretty much set with ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.
Whatever happens, never let anyone shame you into thinking that using a mix for anything is wrong. People ask really dumb questions. That’s not a reason for you to feel bad. It is a great reason, however, to eat all the cheesecake!
1 lb. box brownie mix (labeled gluten-free), divided
3/4 cup oat flour (certified gluten-free)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
16 oz. (2 blocks) cream cheese (I used light)
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the brownie mix with the oat flour and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom of a springform pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the rest of the brownie mix and the heavy cream until all ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter onto the crust. Bake for 45 minutes until set. Turn off the oven and open the door to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly without cracks.
- When completely cool, refrigerate anywhere from three hours to overnight. Slice into wedges and serve.