Brownies marbled with a gorgeous cheesecake topping with handy step-by-step picture instructions!
A swirl of cheesecake topping gives these brownies a different look, and a delicious, creamy contrast to the dark fudginess beneath. Prefer a simple brownie? Just leave out the cheesecake topping and jump to step 8. And yes, the batter will give that shiny, papery crust we all love.
Cook's tip: Jane says: "A good-quality 70% cocoa chocolate is often used for baking for its intense cocoa flavour. But it can sometimes seem a little sour and overwhelm a family-style treat like a brownie. My preference is to use a dark chocolate of around 60% cocoa, or a half-and-half mixture of 70% and 50%. This reduces the cost a little, too."
Add different flavours at step 5, and leave out the cheesecake topping.
Classic Walnut Brownies: Fold 100g chopped walnuts into the batter.
Sour Cherry & White Chocolate Brownies: Fold in 50g dried cherries and 50g chopped white chocolate.
Peanut Butter Brownies: Warm four tablespoons of peanut butter in a pan, then spoon it over the raw batter and swirl in with a knife.
|For the Brownies
|Butter, plus extra for greasing
|Dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
|For the cheesecake topping
|Full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
Prep time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 30 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan/gas 4) and grease a 23cm shallow square cake tin with a little butter, then line it with baking parchment.
2. Make the brownie base first. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. While you wait, break the chocolate into pieces, then add them to the melted butter, and take the pan off the heat.
3. Let the chocolate melt until smooth, stirring now and again with a spatula. 4. Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using a whisk, beat together until frothy and a little thicker, just for 30 seconds or so. 5. Pour the melted butter and chocolate into the eggs and whisk to combine. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl. 6. Beat together using your (already chocolatey) whisk, until smooth and thick. Scoop about four tablespoons of the batter from the bowl and set aside, then scrape the rest into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
7. Now make the topping. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl, add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and creamy. 8. Spoon the cheese over the brownie batter in the tin, then spread it into a thin layer using the back of the spoon or a spatula. Spoon the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake topping. Drag a skewer or the tip of a knife through the cheesecake layer to create feathery swirls. 9. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the brownie has risen all over and jiggles just a little in the middle when you gently shake the tin. This is vital for a fudgy result. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares. They’ll keep in an airtight container for several days.
Recipe taken from What to Bake & How to Bake it by Jane Hornby. Published by Phaidon, RRP £19.95.
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