Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

This one has a long name..... and rightfully so since it is both a brownie and a cheesecake.

I browsed online to find a dessert recipe which requires 4 oz (about 125gms) of cream cheese which I have left from making frosting for the Christmas carrot cake. I found this interesting Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies recipe. Best yet, I have nearly all the ingredients required.
I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive initially about this recipe as some of the reviews were negative. Like top of cake was burnt and the bottom was gooey.... Anyway, all fears were brushed aside as I told myself that I am quite the pro at baking very liquid-y cake batters and they turned out just fine, so far. Yup, some self-praising here....

This recipe is a bit more complicated than the usual brownies recipes. It is, after all, a 2-in-1 cake. As I have only 1/4 of the cream cheese required, I had to scale down the brownies portion by 1/2 and the cream cheese part by 1/4. Might as well since too much cheese is not exactly healthy.

Other modifications :
1. Used butter instead of shortening
2. Added 2 tsp of cocoa powder (I like a bit of colour to keep to the brownie name - otherwise it would be a blondie). It turned out to be a good decision as the contrasting colours add interest to the cake.
3. Used milk chocolate chips and reduced the amount of white sugar
4. Used toasted chopped walnuts instead of pecans
5. Prepared the chesecake portion first before the brownies. Whenever I bake, I have this mental image of the baking soda reacting fast with the liquids and such... and if I do not put it soon enough into the oven, the cake will not rise. A novice baker's phobia, I guess....

My modified recipe as follows :

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 eggs (works out fine as 1/2 is used for the cheesecake portion)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 (of 8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 7x10 inch pan (I used a glass dish of this size from Ikea).

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese and 2 tbsp white sugar. Mix in 1/2 of an egg and set aside. Make sure it is smooth and creamy.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup white sugar. Beat in the 1 and 1/2 eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine and sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; blend into the sugar mixture. Mixture is creamy and smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Spread 1/2 of chocolate chip dough in bottom of the prepared pan. Pour cream cheese batter on top of dough. Sprinkle with walnuts. Drop pieces of the remaining chocolate chip batter over filling. Don't worry if there are gaps; the batter will spread. (It does spread, contrary to some of the negative comments).

5. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned on the top. Let the brownies cool in the pan before cutting into bars.

As my pan is a bit bigger than and the cheesecake portion is only half of what it should be, the final cake height is 1.5 inch which is alright by me. And I forgot about the walnuts until after I have poured the top layer of brownie onto the cheesecake mixture. That's why the walnuts are so obvious on the cake. Turned out to be a good accident though....
This is a very delicious brownie (best eaten the next day - moist!) and looks handsome sliced...... To add to its decadence, enjoy with a giant scoop of vanilla ice-cream drizzled with rich, warm chocolate sauce, some tangy gooseberries or luscious strawberries.

As one reviewer aptly put : Death by Chocolate and Cheesecake!


Jenn said...

ooohhh...they look lovely, i bet they even tasted better! must try this one out one of these days. care to invite us over whenever u start baking? haha:) my sons been nagging me to bake a cheese cake, i hv yet to get into the mood! crazy...

Diary of Kay El said...

Thanks! I usually bake at night after dinner... lol! Nothing beats the smells of cakes and cookies being baked. Let me know how the cheesecake goes.