It’s officially autumn here in NYC – the temperature has dipped below 40*F and the trees are spotted yellow and orange. Earlier this morning, I woke up and dropped Alfred with the ASPCA for his neuter surgery, and I was hit by how chilly it was outside. My bones tell me it’s going to be a rough winter, and already I am dreading it. Winter is coming. And with winter’s approach marks my 10-months as a working/real-life-legitimate-adult. It feels strange – almost like an out-of-body experience. This life I’m living doesn’t seem quite real. I feel like if someone pinched me hard enough or dumped a bucket of cold water over me, I’ll suddenly wake up and find myself back in my childhood bedroom in California. Yes, even now, being here in NYC still feels so surreal – like a weird and uneasy dream that just needs to end. And so it seems I’ve come almost to a full circle again. Today, I begin my grad school search again. I’ve got a mug full of coffee, a plate full of brownies, a warm blanket wrapped around me, and a blank Word document ready to be filled. Let’s do this.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Source: Baking Bites
So I found these while surfing the Internet and they looked so pretty! Very dramatic with the swirls of red and white- but when I made them, the final product wasn’t spectacular. The individual components were pretty tasty on their own- the brownie was fudgy and moist, and the cheesecake was fluffy and rich. Together, however, the flavors washed-out, and the textures did not complement each other. So, I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe and directions that may improve the overall taste. I wanted the cheesecake to stand out more, so I added some acidity and brightness with lemon zest. And to improve the texture, I highly recommend chilling these (if you can wait that long!) before serving, as the cheesecake will set and be a good contrast to the dense fudgy brownie.
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
3-4 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 c flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice [to taste really]
Preheat oven to 350F, and line a square brownie pan (9″ preferred) with greased parchment, making sure there is some overhang, which will help lift the cooked brownies from the pan.
For the brownie:
In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring every so often to prevent burning. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients, then add the butter-chocolate mixture and combine until smooth. The batter will be a deep red, but you can add an add’l 1/2 tsp of food coloring for a brighter red as desired. To the bowl, add the sifted flour and salt and mix everything to combine. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
For the cheesecake, beat together all ingredients until smooth. Spread the creamcheese mixture over the brownie layer, and use a knife to swirl the 2 layers to create a marbled effect.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set, or when a knife inserted comes out clean. The edges will be lightly browned. If the cheesecake is browning too quickly but the brownie is still wet, place a foil tent over the pan to prevent further browning/burning.
Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely before lifting the parchment and brownie from pan. Chill for at least 2-3 hours (allows cheesecake to set), then slice and serve.
Just what I need to power my brain this morning.
Wish me luck readers. I don’t know what the search results will look like – no idea what school or program or degree or year or date. I just know this uneasy dream needs to end. Soon. And preferably happily.
Thanks for reading,