Warning: This may ruin your diet.
After last week’s cheesecake experimentation that left me dubbing myself as the baked cheesecake whisperer, I ended up with a pack of extra cream cheese and an overwhelming feeling of guilt that only happens after inhaling 3 entire cheesecakes over one weekend.
One thing just kept ringing in that back of my mind. Cheesecake brownies. For some reason, my brain kept telling me that it has half the amount of guilt and twice the pleasure of anything I would consider putting that cheese in.
Now let’s break it down a bit. It’s 9 a.m. You’re craving brownies and cheesecake, but you also want your cup of coffee. It only makes sense to merge those three together. That would give you all the more excuse to have it for breakfast.
They’re every bit as decadent and rich as they appear. They’re incredibly dense with a thick layer of sweet cheesecake and plenty of coffee flavor.
I know that most people would be really inclined to use boxed brownies mix since this has two layers in it, but what difference does it make if the brownie batter only requires one bowl? I mean at least you’ll know you have the best quality ingredients and no extra additives that mess with the taste. The cheesecake layer, with a secret addition of white chocolate chips, is a whip to make too, so no excuses!
Layering the batters is no science. I eyeballed the brownie base, spread the cheesecake mixture, then dolloped the rest of the brownie batter on top and flattened them out with the back of a slightly wet spoon. To make this even more out of control, sprinkle it with some chocolate chips.
Also, reheating a piece in the microwave for a few seconds: best thing ever!!
Coffee Cheesecake Brownies
Yields: 16 brownies
For the brownie layer:
- 115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 100 g coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 100 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (80g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional: 1/2 cup mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips (for topping)
For the cheesecake layer:
- 250 g full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 180 g white chocolate chips
- Make the brownie batter: Melt the butter, chopped chocolate, and chocolate chips a in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second blasts, stirring after each, in the microwave. Allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on the sides to help lift the brownie out of the pan. Set aside.
- Whisk the granulated sugar into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Make the cheesecake batter: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Reduce to medium-high speed and beat in the sugar until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Finally, fold in the white chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Set aside.
- Spread about half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. The batter is thick, so do your best to spread it to every corner making 1 even layer. Top with all of the cheesecake batter. Spread this in a thick, even layer. Layer on the rest of the thick brownie batter, spreading as best you can. If some cheesecake swirls out on top or if you can’t quite cover the corners with brownie batter, that’s OK! Sprinkle the optional chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.
- Allow the brownies to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. The cheesecake layer must be cold before cutting into squares.
- Once chilled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.
- Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Bon Appetit 🙂