the baked brownie with cream cheese swirl
chocolate desserts tend to take a back seat in my kitchen. i like chocolate but it is not the kind of dessert i crave. i crave baked fruit desserts like apple pear and raspberry crumble
or spicy pumpkin desserts like pumpkin oatmeal cookies
or citrus desserts like grapefruit yogurt cake
i have made my fair share of chocolate desserts ...caramel peanut topped brownie cakebrownie roll-out cookiesmolten chocolate cakes with raspberry coulischocolate raspberry layer cake with chocolate ganache frostingmalted guinness milk chocolate ice cream with whopperssweet & salty cake
... and i am always impressed with how delicious they are but i forget to give that chocolate section of my recipe binder a look.
but every now and then a chocolate craving hits me like a mack truck. i grabbed one of my favorite dessert cookbooks - The Baked Cookbook - and decided to give the much talked about Baked Brownie recipe a whirl. i wanted to change it a bit by adding a swirl of cream cheese. i love the combination of chocolate and cream cheese and i figured an outstanding brownie recipe like Baked's would stand up well with a bit of luscious cream cheese.
i was totally right!
i get why people love these brownies and i am sure they are equally fabulous on their own but i am telling you they are a little slice of heaven when marbled with a cream cheese swirl. i upped the amount of espresso powder and decreased the sugar by a bit because i do that in most recipes. both adaptations worked really well and i think they enhanced the deep chocolate flavor in these brownies.brownie ingredients
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp instant espresso powder (I upped this from 1 tsp)
1 1/4 cups sugar (I decreased the sugar by 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extractcream cheese swirl ingredients
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon all purpose flourdirections
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat cream cheese and two tablespoons butter in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in one tablespoon flour. Set mixture aside.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
Configure a large sized double boiler. I used a heat-proof bowl over a pot with about 2 inches of simmering water. The important thing is to not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
Pour the half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula.
Dollop half of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Make sure that you space the dollops evenly around the pan. Use a butter knife to then swirl the cream cheese into the mixture. Don't over do this step because then you will not see the swirls. Just do it enough to distribute the cream cheese swirl throughout the brownie mixture.
Add the rest of the brownie mixture over the top and carefully spread it out. Then add the remaining cream cheese swirl mixture and gently swirl it around.
Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
the brownie recipe is adapted from The Baked Cookbook
and the cream cheese swirl recipe is from Smitten Kitchen
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