Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cream Cheese Brownies

It's not often that I make something I have before. If I did, it was probably because it was so immensely delicious. This time, I revisited the marbled brownie because I accidentally bought a block of cream cheese. I wasn't exactly happy with my previous low-fat one, so I decided to look for the real deal.

This version tastes so much better than the other one. I don't have a brownie preference, fudgey or cakey all works for me. The middle of these brownies are chewey and the top layer of cream cheese contrasts the dark chocolateness.

Both times I've had trouble swirling the mixture, resulting in an ugly pattern. I blame a really thick brownie batter, though I don't understand why. I suggest dropping spoonfuls of the brownie and cream cheese batter separately, to produce a more defined pattern.

If I ever make brownies, I will head immediately to this recipe. I also bought a new cookbook yesterday, so I want to make something out of that.


Obtained here

Makes about 24 pieces

115g unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

170g finely chopped dark chocolate
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Marble

250g cream cheese, softened (the microwave for 45 seconds at 50 percent power is a great way to do this)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 180° C. Line a 20x30cm baking pan with parchment paper, so that the edges of the paper come up the sides. Lightly butter the paper.

2. Put both the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof medium bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Whisk until smooth. (Alternatively, melt in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)

3. Whisk the flour and salt in a bowl.

4. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Take care not to over mix the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

5. For the marble swirl: Whisk the cream cheese with the sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Drop very large spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto the surface of the brownie batter. Insert a butter knife through the batter to the bottom of the pan. With the flat edge of the knife, make swirling motions through the batters, occasionally lifting the knife through the top, until the dark and light batters are marbled.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out coated with a fudgey crumb, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack.

7. To take the brownies out of the pan, lift the edges of the paper. Cut the brownies into squares. Serve.