Brown Butter "Mashed Potatoes" April Fool's Day Dessert
This April Fool's Day dessert may have you doing a double take. I can't help but giggle when I look at it. This dessert prank is not only sneaky its delicious! Vanilla bean cheesecake "mashed potatoes" is layered with a brown butter cookie crumble, topped with brown butter caramel "gravy" and sprinkled with sea salt and grated dark chocolate "pepper". Why not have mashed potatoes for dessert?
Turning the oven off and cracking the oven door for the last 30 minutes of baking allows the cheesecake to continue to bake but also to cool down slowly as warm air escapes the oven and it cools. This will help prevent a crack from forming in the cheesecake. But if you find your cheesecake has a crack not to worry. Since you will be spooning instead of slicing the cheesecake there is no need to worry about cracks or browning. I also went ahead and skipped the crust but replaced it with a cookie crumble layer for added texture. You can also skip making the cheesecake completely and just purchase one.
Brown Butter "Mashed Potatoes"
Cheesecake "mashed potatoes"
5 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Brown Butter Cookie Crumble
1 cup crumbled cookies; store bought or homemade pecan shortbread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Brown Butter Caramel "gravy"
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown butter, *reserved from cookie crumble
*sea salt and grated dark chocolate for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and mascarpone cheese together until smooth. While continuing to mix gradually add in the sugar and vanilla bean paste until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure all of the cream cheese has been incorporated.
Pour into the lined pan and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then, turn off the oven, crack open the oven door and continue bake for 30 more minutes. (this will allow the cheesecake to cool down slowly and will prevent a crack from forming in the cheesecake)
Let the cheesecake continue to cool on the counter and the place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Brown Butter Cookie Crumble:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. As, the butter melts and begins to bubble, the milk solids will rise to the top. Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids turn brown, fall to the bottom and begins to have a nutty aroma. Keep a watchful eye and be careful not to burn the butter. When brown remove from the heat.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of brown butter and drizzle the remaining over the cookie crumble. Mix together until all the crumbs are moistened and set aside until its time to assemble the cheesecake.
Brown Butter Caramel Sauce:
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil. Continue to boil until the sugar reaches a nice caramel color. I like to bring my caramel to a nice dark color almost to the brink of burning. It takes some practice to find the perfect color but is the key to a great flavorful caramel. Immediately remove the sugar from the heat when it reaches that color. Then, add in the cream and brown butter. This will cause the caramel to vigorously boil so be aware. Stir the caramel until the butter and the cream is incorporated.
Spoon half of the chilled cheesecake into the serving bowl or casserole dish of your choice. Top with the cookie crumble then, the remain cheesecake. Using your spoon make an indention in the cheesecake for the caramel "gravy". Pour the caramel on top while still warm and sprinkle with sea salt and grated dark chocolate.