I have a go to brownie recipe that I love, and I don’t particularly love a cheese cake (too dense, too rich). But I do love cream cheese and the idea of combining a brownie and cream cheese just appeals to me. I saw the recipe below on David Lebowitz’ blog a while ago and finally got around to making them. These are lovely and fairly effortless. Also, compared to a lot of brownie recipes, they use a surprisingly small amount of butter. When I mentally tasted them, the cream cheese batter was tangy, but I guess the large amount of sugar that goes into the batter takes away the tanginess. Next time, I will add a squeeze of lemon and lemon rind to the cream cheese and will update this post if that works out. Aside from this one minor personal issue, I am definitely glad to have these in my brownie repertoire.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (1 full bar) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature (If you forgot, you can warm up the eggs in some tap water- this does not take long)
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon good qualtiy unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
8 ounces (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Grease an 8″ square pan with cooking oil or butter. Lebowitz recommends lining a 9-inch (23cm) with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Then lightly coat the foil with oil or non-stick spray.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.
4. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
5. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
6. 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.
7. Bake in the center rack of the oven for 35-40 min. These brownies are easiest to cut if you put them in the fridge for a while before cutting.