Saturday, December 18, 2010

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies - made December 12, 2010 from Sweet Times by Dorie Greenspan (book #25)

Usually I avoid anything with "cheesecake" in the title since I'm not fond of the taste of cheesecake.  But when the cheesecake layer is paired with a brownie layer, it's usually acceptable to my finicky taste buds, primarily because I count on the brownie layer dominating the cheesecake layer.  This particular recipe also has the added advantage of having an espresso-flavored cheesecake layer so I figured that would help drown out the cream cheese taste.  It did which means I like this recipe.  The  brownie has a fudgy texture which contrasts nicely with the creamy cheesecake layer.  I don't drink coffee or espresso but I'm fond of coffee-flavored things (everything except coffee itself, go figure) and this one has a great flavor to complement the chocolate brownie.

The recipe is from a Dorie Greenspan book and, like Lisa Yockelson, Dorie Greenspan has some great baking books out there, meaning almost every recipe I've made from one of her books has turned out pretty well.  Dorie also tends to write for more novice bakers so her directions can sometimes be long, detailed and especially helpful if you don't bake much.  I've abbreviated some of it as well as wrote in what I normally do as a baking step.

This makes a great care package brownie and is pretty to look at as well.  The only thing I would recommend is if you do send in a care package, mail during the winter months or to cool climates.  I wouldn't risk the cream cheese/cheesecake part in warmer climates or hot weather.

½ cup all-purporse flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
6 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate such as Lindt or Tobler, broken into small pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2/3 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1.    Brownie: Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.  Line a 9 x 9” baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, if using, in a bowl.  Set aside.
2.    Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiling over hot water.  As it’s melting, stir together to blend.  Add sugar and mix well, using a small whisk.  Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition until mixture is smooth. Pour ¾ of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and reserve the remaining ¼ batter.  Set aside.
3.    Cheesecake: Dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water; set aside to cool.  Beat the cream cheese in a mixer with the paddle attachment until very creamy.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the espresso.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.  On low speed, add the flour and beat just until blended.
4.    Pour cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the pan and let it spread over the brownie layer.  Scatter teaspoonfuls of the remaining ¼ brownie batter over the cheesecake layer.  You can choose to marble it or let it drop as is to make a random pattern.  Don’t disturb the bottom layer and don’t go across the pan more than once.
5.    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.


1 comment:

  1. Those brownies look and sound just wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe.