Cheesecake-Chocolate Pudding Bars

Ingredients

  • cup/86 grams all-purpose flour

  • cup/80 grams finely chopped pecans

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 5

    tablespoons/76 grams unsalted butter, melted 

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, pecans, salt and melted butter; mix with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Tip the mixture into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Press the mixture into a flat, even layer using your fingertips. Bake until dry and golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the crust cools, prepare the cheesecake layer: In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread evenly over the prepared crust. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Prepare the pudding: Set the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Place a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Add the milk, little by little, while whisking to incorporate it fully. Whisk in the egg yolks. 
  4. Heat the mixture over medium, whisking constantly, until it has thickened and just come to a low boil. Continue to cook the pudding, whisking, for another minute, then immediately pour it into the sieve, pushing it through with a small spatula. Let the pudding stand for 1 minute, then whisk it with the butter and chocolate until smooth. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour. (To speed up the process, spread the pudding into an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Stir often until the pudding has cooled, about 10 minutes.)
  5. Whisk to remove any lumps that may have formed while cooling. Dollop the cold pudding over the top of the cheesecake. Carefully spread the pudding out into an even layer. Cover and chill until set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 
  6. Whip the remaining heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar to stiff peaks. Spread on top of the pudding. Garnish with chocolate shavings and cut into squares to serve.