Monday, 24 August 2009

Cheesecake Brownies


This is actually my first time to both eat and make these. How has it taken me so long? The pairing of chocolate and cheesecake is obviously one of life's better inventions, so shame on me.

This is a David Lebovitz recipe that I found on his site. Apparently France has the same issue as Japan in that cream cheese is quite expensive, so this is a good way to get your cheesecake hit without breaking the bank to fund the cooking.

Ingredients

For Chocolate Mixture:
6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) chocolate chips

For Cheesecake Mixture:
8 oz (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tbsp (75g) sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Substitutions

Instead of buying chocolate chips I bought a thin bars of milk chocolate (Lotte Ghana Milk if you want to know, the chocolate I used for melting was Ghana Black.). I froze it to help the chunks keep their shape in the batter, then broke it up by bashing the foil wrapped chocolate with the base of a knife. As long as you get the pieces reasonably small I prefer the slight irregularity in size to that of ready bought chocolate chips. You tend to be able to use better quality chocolate too.

When it came to the 1/8th tsp measurements, rather than fuss around with it I used my own judgment to add a pinch of salt and a couple of shakes of the vanilla essence bottle.

Method

1) Line the baking pan with foil, making sure you go all the way up all the edges (use two sheets if you have to). Oil spray or lightly grease the foil.

2)Preheat oven to 350F/180C


3) Put the brownie bitter chocolate in a saucepan with the cut up pieces of butter


4) Melt them down over a low heat (if, like me, you're not using the double boiler method, then be careful not to burn the mixture! Keep it low and have patience, it doesn't take long).


5) Take the chocolate /butter mix off the heat and beat in the 130g sugar to the saucepan, mixing well, followed by the eggs. Once I added the eggs the batter when really glossy and smooth, like chocolate pudding (which, I guess is essentially what it was at this point). Make sure your mix isn't too hot when you do this, you don't want to cook the eggs.

6) Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips/frozen chocolate pieces to the pan and mix. Once incorporated, spread the batter into the base of your baking pan.

7) In a separate bowl, beat together all the cheesecake ingredients until smooth, then add the cheesecake mix in eight or so dollops to top of the chocolate batter.


8) Take a dull knife, pallet knife, spatula, or skewer and draw some squiggles through the batter to give it a marbled effect. At this point my batter looked more liquid than the original recipe pictures (possibly because of my hot kitchen) so how fully you're able to mix the layers may vary.



Bake for about 35 minutes, until the centre is just set. Let it cool completely before removing it from the pan and foil and cutting it up. I tried to cut the time for this part but it turns out it falls apart really easily when still hot (I guess because the cheesecake parks remain quite soft) so it really is better to resist the smells and wait.

Not that I did


I had plans to share these out at school, but they're so good I don't know if they're going to last that long. Apparently these can be stores in an airtight container for a couple of days but I feel no pressing need to test this out. They also freeze well and taste good straight from the freezer!

Substitute Chef takes no responsibility for increased jean sizes. Even her own.


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