Friday, September 16, 2011

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

I'm a fan of coffee and chocolate. I usually steer clear of coffee flavored desserts because there will always be people who just don't drink coffee so they refuse to even taste the dessert I worked so hard on. And that makes me sad. It's good, dammit! But on this occasion I knew I was heading to a party of coffee lovers!

Brownie and espresso cheescake layers

I find if I make the brownie portion first, it just gets thicker as it cools and then it's impossible to swirl with the cheesecake portion! So I recommend making the cheesecake portion first and popping it in the fridge while you make the brownies. :oD I made these in an 8 inch round cake pan. The recipe is originally made for a 9 inch square pan but I used most of the batter. And I think the round pan makes a really impressive presentation.

Also, Ghirardelli makes a dark chocolate espresso bar that they sell in supermarkets! If you can find it I highly recommend you use it, but you can use any dark chocolate really.

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Life in a Peanut Shell

For the cheesecake

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water (I use Starbucks VIA, awesome stuff, and handy when the power was out)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the brownies

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces dark chocolate (around 60% cocoa0) (Note: The Ghirardelli bars I mentioned are 3.5 oz. I bought 2 and broke a little bit off the second bar for the brownies, then saved the rest for garnish...and to eat!)
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping

1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and coat your pan with cooking spay.
Make the cheesecake
  1. Allow the espresso to cool to tepid.
  2. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese on medium until it's completely smooth.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes more.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and espresso
  5. Add the eggs one at a time
  6. Reduce the speed to low and add the sour cream
  7. Slowly add the flour. Mixture should be very smooth.
  8. cffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff (My rabbit Lillie added step 8 here by stomping on my lap top... I don't know what she's trying to say)
  9. Anyway, place the cheesecake batter in the fridge while you make the brownies
Make the brownies
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler with water simmering.
  3. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. Gently stir in the dry ingredients just until they are combined, be careful not to over-mix.
  1. Pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan.
  2. Smooth it out, then pour the cheesecake layer over the top, taking care to make it even.
  3. Place spoonfuls of the rest of the brownie batter on top, and use a knife to swirl the dark and light batters together.
  4. Bake for around 30 minutes. The brownies should come away from the sides of the pan. The cheesecake will puff and turn lightly browned around the edges.
  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.
Make the topping

1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Warm the sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat.
  2. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour over the chilled brownies, then return them to the refrigerator and chill for at least another hour.
  4. To garnish with chocolate curls, let the chocolate set at room temperature (or under a light to warm up if it's very cold) and use a vegetable peeler to shave the edges off the chocolate
Espresso cheescake brownies

Espresso chocolate "curls"

1 comment:

  1. yum! the chocolate shavings look superb.


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