The amazing brownie proves its worth at every bake sale that’s ever taken place since the dawn of time. Ok, perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I know at my school’s bake sales there were always at least three kinds of brownies (including blonde) cut in all different sizes and priced at 50 cents. Every now and then, if someone’s mum was very kind, there would be a cream cheese swirl brownie as well. While I’ve never been able to master the art of marbling the brownie and cream cheese batter as you see in the cookbooks, the mix of soft cheesecake and chewey brownie is hard to say no to.
My contribution to Christmas dinner was a chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce, which got me thinking about these delightful cream cheese brownies and how they could be even better if the cheesecake part were chocolate too. However, getting it right took a few tries, and even now you can’t really tell that there’s a cheesecake layer in them (being the same colour and all…), but the result is basically a gooey brownie with an extra shot of chocolate. Goes very well with leftover mulled wine…
Incidentally, I bake brownies in the ingenious Edge brownie pan, which actually made this recipe 10 times harder with trying to spread each layer around all the curves and bends. I highly recommend it for anything else, though – it cooks really evenly (which is saying a lot for our temperamental, broken-seal, ‘work-when-I-feel-like-it’ oven) and is very easy to clean.
Oh, and yes, that lovely blue item in the background is my brand new Kitchenaid mixer – a Christmas gift from T that’s earned him these and many more brownies to come.
Ingredients for the brownie batter:
¾ cup (170g) butter
5oz (140g) unsweetened baking chocolate
1⅓ cups (270g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups (155g) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the cheesecake batter:
12oz (340g) package of full-fat cream cheese
¼ cup (50g) sugar
2oz (55g) unsweetened baking chocolate
½ cup (65g) flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease bottom and sides of a square baking pan.
2. Make the brownie batter first. Melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat, or in the microwave. Measure the sugar into a bowl and add in the chocolate, then the rest of the ingredients – one at a time – until blended.
3. Using an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and egg well. With the beaters still running, add the sugar in graudally and leave mixing until well blended. Pour in the chocolate and stir into the mix, then add the flour.
4. In the prepared baking pan, pour about three-quarters of the brownie batter. Drop the cheesecake batter in spoonfuls on top and spread evenly, though not right to the edge of the pan. Pour the rest of the brownie batter on top in zigzags, swirls, etc. – don’t worry if it doesn’t cover all of the cheesecake layer.