Brownies are proof that delicious things do not have to be complicated. I do not know why, even after my previous pleasant experience with brownies, it is just never my thing. When I am planning my weekend bakes, I never think “let me bake some brownies this weekend”.
However, when I saw these delicious brownies on Instagram, I figure it is about time I bake another batch of brownies. As usual, I was a little apprehensive. Don’t ask me why. Cream cheese and brownies just sound such an overkill. But, I like how the article was written. The way they explain why they do everything the way they do it and why it works. And it is so simple.
Makes 16 servings
For the cream cheese filling
110g cream cheese
115g sour cream
28g fine granulated sugar
8g plain flour
For the brownie batter
110g unsweented chocolate
110g unsalted butter
220g fine granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure chocolate extract
90g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1) Prepare the brownie pan, by lining a 8-inch by 8-inch baking tray with aluminium foil. Fold 2 long strips of aluminium fold and set them perpendicular to each other so you line the entire bottom of the pan, leaving the foil to overhang.
2) Start with the cream cheese filling. Prepare a bain-marie. Add the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk it on the prepared bain-marie until the cream cheese is soft and fluffy.
3) Add the sour cream and sugar and continue whisking until it is well incorporated.
4) Remove the mixture from the bain-marie and add the flour. Fold in the flour by hand and set aside.
5) Put the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a bowl and set it on the bain-marie and allow them to melt.
6) While waiting for the chocolate and butter to melt, whisk the eggs, sugar and chocolate extract until it is airy.
7) Scrap the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until well incorporated. There is no need to wash the bowl used for melting the chocolate.
8) Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the batter and fold until just combined.
9) Scoop about 140g of the brownie batter into the previous bowl use for melting the chocolate, and set it on the bain-marie.
10) Preheat convection oven to 160C.
11) Empty the brownie batter into the prepared baking tray. Smooth it out.
12) Spread the cream cheese filling on top of the brownie batter, making sure to cover the entire top and into the corners of the tray.
13) Remove the remaining brownie batter from the bain-marie, and using a tablespoon, scoop the batter over the cream cheese filling, about 8 dollops. Using a knife, swirl the batter.
14) Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
15) Brownie is cooked when tested using a toothpick come out clean.
16) Remove brownie tray from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate overnight.
17) On the next day (if you could wait that long), remove from the refrigerate and cut into 16 equal pieces.
A note on the chocolate extract. The original recipe calls for pure vanilla extract. But being a big fan of chocolate, I would normally use chocolate extract for chocolatey bakes. If you have to go with vanilla, make sure to go with the good stuff – the imitation extracts just wouldn’t cut it.
When it comes to brownies, I’d always prefer to err on the side of underdone. So in my case, the toothpick came out clean-ish, in that, it was not completely clean but you can tell that the batter is no longer runny. I let it sit in the warm oven for another 15 minutes or so before removing it. The original recipe also does not call for refrigerating the brownie overnight. But, I just figure it will be easier to cut it nicely after sitting in the refrigerator for a while. And also, it was quite late when my bake was ready and it just felt too sinful to chow on these as a late night snack.
I am very pleased to report that these brownies are absolutely delicious! So delicious that I have eaten 2 pieces in one sitting. Oops.