Some people turn to vigorous exercise while others turn to addictive substances. I like to turn to delicious, sleazy baked goods. I don't think it is a terrible thing at all. I certainly wouldn't judge you for eating an entire batch of baked goods to yourself - been there, done that - but these cheesecake brownies are the best way to share good feelz with everybody around you!
There are days when my sweet tooth is really messed up. I often find I just want sweetness in general, and there are many ways to take care of that. My two greatest naughty sins are dense, fudgy brownies or a huge slice of cheesecake - so why not have both? Some days can be so defeating, that you won't have any reservations towards packing your face with so much sin.
These cheesecake brownies are the best of two delightful worlds. You have a darkly-sweet, fudgy brownie striated with thick streaks of creamy vanilla cheesecake. It's like a well-written erotic novel.
They can be as deluxe or as simple as you like - I will show you how to do both - so everybody can whip up instant joy. My recipe is a pretty practical one compared to a lot of brownie recipes I've seen. There is no double boiler/Bain-Marie involved - none of that BS. There are no raising agents used, which makes a denser brownie that 'cuddles' the cheesecake batter like a pillowy duvet. Finally by adding ground almonds, there's no chance of your brownies becoming dry or cake-like - every brownie-maker's worst embarrassment.
So come on, let's save the day!
What You'll Need:
For a 24-strong army of instant-action joy...
150g of Dark Chocolate
125g of Butter
50g of Plain Flour
125g Light Brown Sugar*
50g Dark Muscavado Sugar*
1 teaspoon of Cocoa Powder
50g of Ground Almonds**
*if you don't have these sugars in, just use 175g of White Sugar.
**replace with 50g of flour if you don't have any Ground Almonds.
200g of Cream Cheese
3 tablespoons of White Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
STEP 1. Firstly, line a square dish with some oil or some greaseproof baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Now let's crack on with the fun!
STEP 2. Break your dark chocolate into a mixing bowl, and microwave it in 10-second bursts until it is melted.
Measure out your butter. It's better if your butter is room temperature and not fridge-cold. It makes life so much quicker!
Cut your butter into small-ish chunks and add it to your melted chocolate.
Mix everything until the butter has completed melted into the chocolate. If there are a few persistent lumps of butter, just microwave the whole mixture for 10 seconds to help it along.
You should end up with a smooth, glossy, chocolatey mix.
STEP 3. Time for some sugar!
Scatter in your Brown Sugar and Dark Sugar (or White Sugar if best for you.)
Add in your 50g of Ground Almonds and mix everything together until well-dispursed. As much as I recommend you to add ground almonds, I'd hate for you to go out and buy a bag especially. You can replace them with an extra 50g of flour in the next step)
STEP 4. Now add in your 3 eggs.
Your mixture may seem like it is seizing up and it will start to look fugly. Just keep mixing and eventually you'll have your glossy mixture back.
STEP 5. Weigh out your plain flour, and mix your teaspoon of cocoa powder into it.
Add this dry mixture to your batter, and we can start folding it in. It's best to use a metal tablespoon for this, as it will cut through the batter much more smoothly.
Folding in is just a mixing technique that allows you to gradually mix the dry flour into the wet batter without it clumping up. There are a few ways to fold in: my cookery teacher at school taught me to stir the mixture in a figure-of-8. At first it'll seems like it's not working, but after a dozen '8's' you'll begin to see the magic of it!
STEP 6. Once you have a creamy brownie batter, we can transfer it to our greased/lined dish.
Spread your brownie batter out so it is flat across the surface. Then set it aside while we take care of pressing issues...
Oh, we need to make our cheesecake batter!
STEP 7. The cheesecake batter is unbelievably easy!
Whole packet of cream cheese. 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 3 tablespoons of sugar. 1 egg.
Mix everything together, in any order, and you will have a gleaming, liquid vanilla cheesecake.
Please please please try a spoonful! It will blow your mind!
STEP 8. Splodge a few dollops of your cheesecake batter randomly around your brownie batter.
Be random but fair! You don't want some poor sod getting a corner slice with no cheesecakey benefits.
Once you're out of cheesecake batter, take a narrow stick (a skewer, back of a pencil - anything) and stream your cheesecake clouds through the brownie batter. It's important not to overdo it, as the cheesecake will just mix into the brownie batter and will cease to exist. See if you can stream it in one go, without going back on yourself.
STEP 9. Slide your brownies into the oven, on a middle shelf, and bake for 20-25 minutes. It's good to keep an eye on them throughout, as ovens can vary. Don't be frightened if the cheesecake batter browns very quickly, this is just a 'cheesecake skin' and it's totally fine.
When your brownies come out of the oven, you may find them quite wobbly in the centre. Once your brownies are left to stand for 30 minutes before cutting, they will firm up be oh-baby-so dense and fudgy.
What's more, you may find that, like mine, the top is cracked and ripped. Don't worry, this is simply because brownie batter expands during cooking while cheesecake batter shrinks. Once your brownies are left to cool for 30 minutes, they will sink down (once again, completely normal) and the cracks won't be too noticeable.
Well, what are you waiting for?
Get stuffing your face!!!
Hope you enjoy!