|Why add cream cheese to brownie batter? You might logically say, for more richness. Cream cheese makes a denser, fudgier brownie, and the tangy quality of the cream cheese is a nice counterpoint to both the deep chocolate flavor and the sweetness of the sugar. Some cream cheese brownies simply incorporate the softened cream cheese into the batter; others create a marbled swirl in the batter, still others add a cream cheese layer on the top of the brownie, as shown in the photo at the right. (Then, there’s the full cheesecake topping that makes a half cheesecake, half brownie delight called the “zebra.” But that’s another holiday). Here’s the cheesecake brownie recipe from the photo:
|Whip up a batch of cream cheese brownies. Photo and recipe courtesy of Diana’s Desserts.|
|Cream Cheese Mixture:
3/4 cup (180g) cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup superfine baker’s sugar
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Butter and lightly flour an 8 x 8-inch square cake pan. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Combine the flour and salt. Set aside. Melt the butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan, then stir in the cocoa until blended and set aside. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and stir in the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour/salt mixture over the top and fold it into the mixture. Add vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Make cream cheese mixture. Whisk together cream cheese, egg and sugar (or use an electric mixer). Sift 1/4 cup self-rising flour over this mixture and fold in. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
4. Pour three-quarters of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread the cream cheese mixture over it. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie mixture on top, making swirls with a knife. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is springy to the touch, being careful not to over-bake. Cool brownies in the pan, then cut into squares.
Makes 16 brownies.
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