Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cream cheese Brownies / Cheesecake Brownies

Hello chocoholics, how are you all doing today? Here is a very decadent rich, fudgy and gooey brownie to treat yourself; to add an extra pound to your waistline while you find yourself in solace on this bank holiday weekend. I have already made these brownies thrice now, and surely have helped others gain some weight too as I gave most of them away! The first time I baked, I dint get time to shoot pictures and the second time I baked, the cream cheese part got too runny due to over mixing, so I dint get a swirl effect. Each time I baked, I tried it by modifying the ingredients slightly to see the change. The recipe given below is so far my favourite. I baked it once by adding baking powder, but that was kind of cakey for my taste and I don’t like brownies that are not fudgy.

We have a set of friends, dear hubby’s college mates who reside in Birmingham and whom we meet on every other occasion or just for a get together. And I have the habit of carrying some baked goodies every time I go as there are few of them who love baked stuff, and I get a chance to bake too. They too are my loyal guinea pigs and give me their valuable comments or criticism. Last time I made these, the chocoholics in the crowd loved the stuff and non-chocoholics, didn’t like it a bit, which includes my hubby. They found it too chocolaty. Hello, this is brownie!

I don’t usually bake anything repetitively unless until I like it really well, or does my family. Or I bake them to share or giveaway to friends. Some of the things that keep appearing in my kitchen are the biscotti and brownies. Cheesecake brownie is nothing but a regular brownie mixture topped with a cream cheese mixture and swirled to a get a marbled look. These look so pretty and taste as good as they look. As with any brownie, if you like it dense and moist, as I like it, undercook it until you see few moist crumbs sticking to the skewer inserted into the cake. Else if you like it slightly cakey, bake it until your skewer comes off clean.

It’s the queens diamond Jubilee, 60 years into the reign and it’s officially off for most of us here if not all. I have been watching the star studded Jubilee concert in front of the Buckingham palace on the telly and it was just fabulous. The palace was used as the backdrop for the show and it was spectacular.Check out some of jubilee day celebrations here, here,  and here.

Cream cheese Brownie/Cheesecake Brownie
Adapted from www.Joyofbaking.com
Preparation:10 minutes
Baking time: 40-50 minutes

110 unsalted butter
125g dark chocolate (70 % cocoa solids) *
1 ¼ cup caster sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp instant coffee powder (Optional)
¼ tsp baking powder **(optional – check notes)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
¼ tsp salt

200g full fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 medium egg at room temperature

1.Preheat the oven to 180 ÂșC 10 minutes before baking. Line an 8 inch square pan with baking paper all the way above the pan, so that you can lift off the brownie easily.

2. In a bowl, sift in salt, cocoa powder and flour. Reserve.

3. In another large heat proof pan, combine chocolate, coffee and diced butter. Heat them in a microwave, stirring them in between until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and velvety. Make sure you keep checking the mixture in between, every ½  a minute or so, so that the chocolate is not burnt. You may also melt the mixture by placing it over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water beneath doesn’t touch the bowl with chocolate.

4. Whisk in sugar and vanilla and allow the mixture to cool down slightly before adding eggs.

5. Add in eggs one by one, incorporating each fully before adding the next one.

6. Add in the flour mixture and fold until no dry mixture is seen. Pour it in the prepared pan.

For the cream cheese mixture:
1.In a bowl, beat cream until smooth using a wire whisk.

2. Add in sugar, egg and vanilla and gently mix until incorporated. Do not beat well here as the mixture can get very runny. You just want a smooth chunky mix. Put dollops of this cream cheese mixture all over the chocolate mix and using a blunt knife, swirl the mixture to get a marbled effect.

3. Bake it in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the centre is set and when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with few moist crumbs. Let the brownie cool in the pan. Chill it for 2 hours and then cut into 16 squares.

1.Adding cocoa and coffee is optional, omit if you want to make the brownie less intense.

* If you are using chocolate with 50 % cocoa solids, just use 1 cup of sugar as 70 % chocolates are bitter than 50% percent ones.

** This cake is very moist, fudgy, gooey and really rich. If you want it slightly cakey, add ¼ teaspoon of baking powder into the mixture and increase the flour to 2/3 cups keeping all other ingredients with the same ratio.
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