Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

How sad is this: I downloaded photos from my digital camera this morning and I have a picture of these brownies, a couple of the pie I made on Christmas (not blog-worthy), and basically, none of Christmas. I did so bad this year. We do have some great video on the Flip that we got for Christmas but not much else. So, if you're related to me and have Christmas photos and want to share, I'd love to see them!

I've been eyeing this recipe for awhile since it was featured on Tuesdays with Dorie (original recipe from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours"). Yesterday I wanted to make dessert for friends and had all the ingredients for this without having to make another trip to the store.

The cheesecake layer was amazing. I thought the brownie layer was a little dry and not great. Maybe I cooked them too long or maybe the brownie was cooked too much by the cheesecake was cooked through. Even so, the cheesecake flavor dominated and the whole pan was gone quickly.

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies (makes 9)

For the brownies:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F, with a rack in the center. Butter a 9" square baking pan and set aside.

To make the brownies:
Whisk together the first three ingredients. Put the butter and chocolate over a double boiler with water simmering. Stir until the ingredients melt, but don't overheat so that the butter separates. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside.

Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture with a whisk, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg, then beat in the vanilla. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients until they disappear. Set aside.

For the cheesecake:
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
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 flour

Allow the espresso to cool to tepid. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese on medium until it's completely smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and espresso before adding the eggs one at a time. Beat for 1 minute after each egg, then reduce the speed to low and add the sour cream, then the flour. The batter should be smooth.

Pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth it out, then pour the cheesecake layer over the top, taking care to make it even. Place spoonfuls of the rest of the brownie batter on top, and use a knife to swirl the dark and light batters together. Be careful, however, not to plunge the knife into the base brownie layer. Swirl only as much as necessary.

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. Transfer the pan to a wrack to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.


  1. Holy smoke! Just as I put my cravings for indulgences aside, this pops up! Must resist.
    Looks sublime!

  2. Yes, Restless, you must resist!
    I am, on the other hand, a K9.

  3. Canines can't eat chocolate. Humans can.

  4. "Canines can't eat chocolate - but He can. He's The Most Interesting Dog in The World!"

  5. I still say it wasn't dry. The cheesecake with the brownie was a good combo. Maybe it would have been dry alone.