Sunday, 27 December 2009
A good chocolate brownie is one of my favourite things to make and eat. Brownie recipes range from simple cocoa rich treats to complex beasts with more add-ins than you know what to do with but I'd pretty much eat whatever kind of brownie you put in front of me. I like mine more on the fudgey than cakey side. I like chewy edges and sticky middles. I like rich chocolate flavours and simple additions. I am always keen to try new things.
I've been reading for ages about the wonderful mix of cheesecake and chocolate cake. Black bottom cupcakes for example combine a chocolatey cake with a cheesecake centre into a perfectly formed cupcake combination. They are also on my list to try. The combination extends to cheesecake and brownies. There is just something about the combination of dense chocolate brownies with a rich topping of slightly sweetened cream cheese that makes them irresistable. I must emphasise that they are irresistable; I have made 2 batches in the last couple of weeks and they've been snaffled up.
This recipe is from David Lebovitz who has a whole book about chocolate. I trusted him to provide a reliable and easy recipe and I was right to. This recipe is simple to follow and has no complicated/unusual ingredients or instructions. I've reprinted the recipe here using only the metric measures.
85g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
115g dark chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs, at room temperature
70g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g chocolate chips
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
Splash of vanilla extract
Line a 9-inch (23cm) square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the sugar, then the eggs.
Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the brownies feel set in the centre. Allow to cool before peeling the foil off and slicing.