Monday, August 31, 2009

TWD: ESPRESSO CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

Wow. It has been well over a year since I first joined the lovely interactive baking group; Tuesdays With Dorie, and my day has finally come...the recipe rotation gods have spoken! It's my week to choose a recipe from Dorie Greenspans, "Baking: From My Home To Yours" and my opportunities of choice seemed endless. There were pies, tarts, cookies, cakes--oh so many I could have selected without batting an eye. However, when my eyes scanned page 104-105; it was love at first site. Espresso? Brownies? Cheesecake? All in one?--I had to plea no contest.
These brownies were absolutely delicious. Each creamy, espresso-spiked, chocolaty, brownie bite got better and better as my consumption continued...and continued...and (we all know how this story ends) resulted in my dinner for the evening that left me with a sugar hangover. And a worthy hangover at that.

Rather than the suggested 9X9 square pan I baked these guys in a 9 inch round pan and sliced them in thin wedges. Chocolate chunks, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, cappuccino chips, cocoa powder, and a chocolate wafer cigar were among many of the toppers. Please please pleaseeee make this if you haven't already. They are a great end-of-the-summer cool treat for season ending BBQ's! Labor Day, anyone? You're welcome.

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours

For the brownies:

1/2 cup ap 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 placed on a baking sheet 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 ap 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.

For the topping:

1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Warm the sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. You need to stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the chilled brownies, then return them to the refrigerator and chill for at least another hour. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

50 comments:

Amanda said...

I'm glad these worked out so well for you, it sure looks great! We had mixed feelings on this one, but i sure did enjoy the espresso cheesecake mixture. Thanks for hosting this week!

Pamela said...

What a great presentation! I love the cigar cookie there! This was a very good recipe. Thanks for a delicious choice!

Romaine of www.salad-in-a-jar.com said...

Look at all those yummy toppings. Like the round pan idea too.

Hornedfroggy said...

Beautiful photos - thanks for this week's pick! :)

Amber Marie said...

Love the bits on top! Makes the brownies look very festive. Great pick!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

These were absolutely scrumptious! Your pictures are fantastic. Thank you for choosing them.

ostwestwind said...

Thanks for picking the recipe, it was a great indulgence.

Ulrike @ Küchenlatein

mike said...

Fantastic presentation! Love all the add-ons - how fun! This was hands down the best brownie combo - (I thought)! Glad you enjoyed making it - and from the looks, taking the great photos. Nicely done!

Clivia said...

That is the most awesome presentation of a brownie! beautifully done. Thanks for choosing this recipe!

myfamousrecipe said...

What a gorgeous brownie you created. I drizzled mine with hot fudge -- delicious. Thanks for selecting this one!

Cecille Ericta said...

Hands down on how you decorated it! Cake was yummy!

"E" Street said...

Beautiful!!! The presentation is amazing - almost too pretty to eat...... very nicely done! This was a great choice for the TWD bakers - thanks!

chocolatechic said...

Fabulous.

Just fabulous.

I loved them

dorie said...

I love all your add-ons. The brownies look terrific and I'm so glad you enjoyed them -- Dorie

steph- whisk/spoon said...

wow--you dressed these up beautifully! thanks for a delicious pick!

Les gourmandises d'Isa said...

merci Melissa pour le choix de cette recette :) c'était vraiment extra bon !

Amy said...

Wow, these look beautiful! Great presentation!!! For some reason, mine just didn't turn out well, but yours look just fantastic!! Thanks for hosting this week!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

vibi said...

Thank you Melissa, for the weekly pick... I had a lot of fun making the recipe, but moreover it had me discover how delicious sour cream and sugar are together!

Yours are the most decadent looking I've seen, and I'm sure they were just that... bravo.

Lauryn said...

Wow!!! That photo is beyond incredible and I especially love how you topped these with all sorts of goodies! Thanks for a great pick this week! Your blog is AWESOME!!

Mary Ann said...

Yours looks so beautiful! Just like a cheesecake with a brownie crust. Glad you liked it!

Bake Me to the Moon said...

Well I have to say your brownies are beautiful. They for sure put mine to shame, haha! Thanks so much picking this one, my family loved them!

Flourchild said...

Thank you for the great choice. I enjoyed this recipe too! My fav. part was the creamy frosting!

Karen said...

I took these to my scrap retreat this weekend and everyone loved them...they were all on weight watcher though so only a few got eaten. I took the rest to work though and they were devoured. :) Great pick!

Kim said...

Great pick. Your pictures are wonderful.

SiHaN said...

oh wow... yours really looks fantastic! thanks for picking out the recipe thought it kinda flopped for me. sigh

Jules Someone said...

Yowsa those look good! Thanks for picking such a yummy recipe!

Megan said...

Well geez, if I'd put all the extra stuff on top of the brownies, maybe they would have gone over better!

Great pick - thanks!

Melissa said...

Great selection. I absolutely loved these! Yours look wonderful!

lasinthekitchen said...

Wow, what fantastic Espresso Cheesecake Brownies! It was fun working this one out without a hand mixer, thanks for the great selection!

isa said...

They are gorgeous! Your presentation is fantastic!
Thank you Melissa for hosting this week!

Memória said...

Lovely photos and great pick!

Madam Chow said...

I think your toppers made the brownies!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE your presentation!!! Thanks for hosting this week. We love this recipe, great choice!!! :)

Jaime said...

so pretty!! great pick, i enjoyed it

Kayte said...

Thank you for this pick this week...my guys absolutely loved these brownies! Definitely a repeat.

scrappysue said...

sinfully delicious!!!

margot said...

Yours look incredible, I can't believe it's the same recipe I made! Thanks for this fun pick, I liked them more than I thought I would.

theeclecticconnoisseur said...

Excellent choice, Melissa! The toppings you added sound great. Your photos are making my mouth water. I loved these!

Rachel said...

Wow - now I would eat that! Did Dorie Greenspan actually comment on your brownie? How cool is that?

EverydayMama said...

BE-A-U-TIFUL pictures, they look Amazing! Wish mine had come out that good, better luck next time for me... nice blog too :)

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

These were great overall! I love how you did your all up, yum! I almost did mine in a round pan too.

Diana H said...

Whoa, these look good.

Lillian said...

Wow -- your photos are amazing. And I love the idea of cappuccino chips! Thanks for choosing this recipe for us.

Sweet and Savory said...

These look great. Your photo made me want to take a bite, now.

Carol Peterman said...

Your brownies look so decadent! I left off the topping because I forgot about it and then decided they were good as is. Happily I managed to make 1/2 without the espresso so my husband would eat them.

Carla said...

Thanks for picking this, especially since it didn't have a picture to convince me ;) Very delicious indeed.

jaysfavoritefoods said...

So delicious! Thanks so much for this pick- I love your presentation!

SUGAR B said...

These were by far one of my favorite brownies I have ever made! They taste better after a day or so!

Thanks so much for picking such a great recipe!

Yours look super duper fab! :)

Judy said...

Your version looks very delicious. My brownies must have been good, because they disappeared before I could put on the sour cream topping. Thanks for adding to the brownie list.

eatemhot said...

I'm new to the site, but it looks great! I found archived posts to DG's espresso cheesecake brownies and wnat to take them to a church supper. But I have to make them a full day ahead. Do they keep well?