Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cream cheese brownies

My ideal at- home relaxing day is when there's a storm brewing. I'm fine with just the sound of rain too. But summer has been seriously crazy heat, and there's no storm now :(

But, I could just curl up in a ball, and read a good book. Sip some hot tea, watch reruns of Friends, and eat some cream cheese brownies along with them!

Cream cheese brownies is what I call comfort food. And it is especially best eaten, on a Friday night after a long week of flash cards from biology, countless math problems and writing English essays.

Cheesecake + brownies = ridiculously delicious combination

I will never understand anyone who dislikes cheesecake. Um, who could pass a tall slice of cheesecake, topped with fruit, with a buttery biscuit base? Not me.

When you marry these two sinful sugary treats, you have a heavenly combination. Go and buy yourself a few packets of cream cheese. One for making this, and one for making oreo cheesecake cupcakes.

Cheesecake-swirled brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 16 2 inch (5 cm) square thick brownies.

Brownie batter
1 stick (113 g), unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 ounces (85 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Cheesecake batter
1 packet (225 grams or 8 ounces) cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie batter:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or line with baking paper.
2. Cook butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan, or using a double boiler, with a bowl over simmering water. Whisk occasionally, just until melted.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined.
4. Whisk in the flour until just combined and spread in a baking pan.

Cheesecake batter:
1. Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl, until smooth.
2. Spoon a dollop of the cheesecake batter and drop into the brownie batter. Swirl with a knife or a spatula.
3. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the cheesecake and brownie batter.

Bake brownies:
1. Bake for 35 minutes at 350, until edges are slightly puffed, but make sure the centre is just set.
2. Serve warm or at room temperature

* Smitten Kitchen recommends chilling brownies until frozen, before cutting them. I put mine in the fridge for a while before cutting. Make sure that your brownies are cooled to room temperature before putting it in the fridge or freezer.

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