To double down on the extravagance of our Fudgy Brownies, we added a silky cheesecake swirl. We’ve kept the Cheesecake Layer classic vanilla, but you could go bold with flavors. Considering swapping in almond, peppermint, or even rum extract for the vanilla. You can also stir in ½ teaspoon of your favorite spice or spice mix, from chai spice mix to Chinese five-spice powder. Whatever you choose, these brownies receive full marks in both texture and presentation.
Cheesecake-Swirled Fudgy Brownies
Makes about 9 brownies
- 8 ounces (226 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1¼ cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) instant espresso powder
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature and lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
- Cheesecake Layer (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate and butter. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Turn off heat, and whisk in sugars until well combined. (Mixture will not be completely smooth.) Remove from heat, and let cool slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder.
- Slowly add eggs to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Fold in flour mixture just until combined. Spread two-thirds of batter (about 2⅔ cups [about 760 grams]) in prepared pan. Spoon Cheesecake Layer on top of batter, smoothing flat with an offset spatula. Spoon remaining batter in large dollops (about 48 grams each) on top of Cheesecake Layer. Using a wooden pick, swirl layers together.
- Bake until brownie on top is shiny, center is set, and a wooden pick inserted in brownie comes out with a few moist crumbs, 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes, covering edges with foil after 40 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
- 8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and flour, and whisk until combined; scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, whisking well. Whisk in vanilla. Use immediately.
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