Fudgy Cheesecake Brownies Recipe


Fudgy Cheesecake Brownies
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 – 35 minutes
Makes 16

A swirl of cheesecake topping gives these brownies a different look, and a delicious, creamy contrast to the dark fudginess beneath. Prefer a simple brownie? Just leave out the cheesecake topping and jump to step 8. And yes, the batter will give that shiny, papery crust we all love. 

For the brownies:
1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) butter, plus extra for greasing
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, about
60% cocoa solids*
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

For the cheesecake topping:
7 oz full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

*CHOCOLATE IN COOKING: A good-quality 70% cocoa chocolate is often used for baking for its intense cocoa flavor. But it can sometimes seem a little sour and overwhelm a family-style treat like a brownie. My preference is to use a bittersweet chocolate of around 60% cocoa, or a half-an-half mixture of 70% and 50%. This reduces the cost a little, too.

Grease a 9-inch square cake pan with a little butter, then line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the brownie base first. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. While you wait, break the chocolate into pieces, then add them to the melted butter, and take the pan off the heat.

Let the chocolate melt until smooth, stirring now and again with a spatula.

Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using a whisk, beat together until frothy and a little thicker, just for 30 seconds or so.

Pour the melted butter and chocolate into the eggs and whisk to combine. Put the flour, cocoa, and salt in a sieve, then sift into the bowl.

Beat together using your (already chocolatey) whisk, until smooth and thick. Scoop 1/3 cup of the batter from the bowl and set aside, then scrape the rest into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Now make the topping. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl, add the egg, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Spoon the cheese over the brownie batter in the pan, then spread it into a thin layer using the back of the spoon or a spatula. Spoon the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake topping. Drag a skewer or the tip of a knife through the cheesecake layer to create feathery swirls.

Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the brownie has risen all over and jiggles just a little in the center when you gently shake the pan. This is vital for a fudgy result. Let cool completely in the pan, then cut into squares. They’ll keep in an airtight container for several days.

VARIATIONS: Add different flavors at step 5, and leave out the cheesecake topping.

Classic Walnut Brownies: Fold 1 cup chopped walnuts into the batter.

Sour Cherry & White Chocolate Brownies: Fold in 1/2 cup dried cherries and 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate.

Peanut Butter Brownies: Warm 4 tablespoons peanut butter in a pan, then spoon it over the raw batter and swirl in with a knife.

Excerpted from What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby (Phaidon, 2014). 

More brownie recipes:
Ovenly’s Honey Blondies
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies