Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cheesecake Brownies

I have an unhealthy obsession with cheesecake, cheese puff pastries, and cheese Danish - the Boy knows all about it. The cream cheese, rich and dominant, makes desserts that much better. The subtle richness of the cream cheese balances the sweetness of the brownie - a perfect pairing.

But sometimes, opposites have issues attracting. For the past few months, the Boy and I have been sparring (verbally, emotionally, physically) about petty issues. Last night, he stormed out of my apartment after I refused to sleep over at his apartment. It was 3am; I was exhausted and wanted to collapse in my own bed; I had slept over at his apartment the night before. Now, we're apparently engaging in a war of silence.

It's slightly unnerving - I've never heard silence quite this loud. I tried to send a conciliatory text message to no avail. Instead of sitting at my desk and staring at my cell phone, I decided to bake cheesecake brownie and watch an episode of Friends with my roommate instead. I can play the game of silence just as well as anyone can.

The cheesecake brownie was wonderful straight from the over - warm, fudgy, and fresh! I got lazy and used a box of brownie mix instead of making brownie from scratch. They make wonderful comfort food for people having a bad day or engaging in silent warfare with their significant other.

Cheesecake Brownie


6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) chocolate chips

8 ounces (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Line a 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm) 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.

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 (75g) 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 for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

8. Let cool, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.

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