As a blogger, I’m often asked to explain, “Why do I blog?” Frequently people assume the goal is to get a cookbook deal.  That’s not why I blog and I’m not working towards a cookbook deal nor have I pitched one to a publisher. However, I have said that should one ever fall in my lap, I would certainly take it. I have said that to so many people over the years and I can still hear my voice saying that. It’s always been more of a joke and I was sure that would never happen.

Here I am in total shock. Last week, I was offered a cookbook deal! By a really lovely editor!! And… I didn’t take it!!!

Cheesecake Brownies with Text

It was an incredibly hard decision to make: long talks with friends and family (thank you everyone!); mind-numbing cycles of feeling one way, then another; and vigorous concentration spent trying to analyze the situation as if I could figure out the “right” answer by some magnitude of math.  Ultimately, it just wasn’t the right book for me.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get another chance to have my name on the cover of a book, a chance for my dad to understand what my occupation is (I know the Asian readers get this), yet I’m grateful for this opportunity. I came away with a much needed reminder that my work is valuable.
Bowls and Tools

Of course, I was still sad and needed a little lovin’ from the oven. Nothing screams emotional eating like chocolate and cheesecake, hence these Cheesecake Brownies that really did the trick. Exactly as they look: they’re moist deep chocolatey brownies with a rich and creamy cheesecake swirled in. Save this recipe for when you really need it.

Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

~One 9″ square baking pan ~16 pieces

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Brownie Batter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions –

1. To make the cheesecake mixture, combine cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon to cream together until smooth. Stir in the flour.

2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add this mixture gradually into the cream cheese mixture.  Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

3. Prepare a shelf in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 15″ x 15″ square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Turn over your 9″ square baking pan and center the aluminum foil over it so that it and down the sides so that it follows the shape of the pan. Remove the foil (maintaining shape) and turn over the pan, placing the aluminum foil on the inside. Smooth bottom and sides to the pan.

4. To make the brownie batter, strain together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

5. Melt the butter in a medium sized bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not come in contact with the water. (This is called a double boiler.) When the butter is melted, add the dark and unsweetened chocolate and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.

6. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Continue whisking as you add the sugar in a steady stream. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Stir the vanilla in last.

7. Strain the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture in three additions, folding gently each time. Remove 1 cup of the brownie batter and set aside.

8. Pour the remaining brownie batter into the prepared pan and level with a spatula. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top and smooth into an even layer. Drop the reserved cup of brownie batter on top in about 8 spoonfuls. Swirl the layers together by inserting a small sharp knife halfway in and drawing an S pattern, as illustrated here. (Don’t make fun of my illustration skills please.)

How to swirl

9. Bake the brownies for 45-to-50 minutes, until it looks puffed and lightly browning. Cool on a cooling rack for 3-to-4 hours before cutting. Cut into 16 pieces. Serve.

Cheesecake Brownies

These brownies taste their very best the same day but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five days. Separate layers with wax paper.

posted by jessica at 03:29 PM Filed under Desserts, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.