I adore chocolate and he loves cheesecake, so
it seems like the ideal combination to me.
The recipe is actually two recipes combined.
The standard chocolate brownie and then an orange cheesecake swirl piped in.
Both simple methods with nothing out of the ordinary, however this was the first time that Id ventured into the world of piping so I was a bit nervous about that.
In the end, everything was very straightforward. I didnt have any unsalted butter (Im still shocked that the supermarket didnt have any!), so I used slightly salted butter with the lowest amount of salt I could find. This didnt seem to affect the taste adversely (and probably helped to balance out the sweetness). I took a slight hiatus half-way through to both curse at the espresso machine and to gleefully unwrap and coo over my birthday present.
The brownies didnt seem to suffer for that either. I think this recipe is really quite robust.
The brownies turned out very well indeed. Very slightly crunchy round the sides and nice and soft inside.
The cheesecake taste and texture came through really well, and we thoroughly enjoyed the combination of the two flavours and textures. Id probably serve this as a dessert rather than eating it with coffee. It is very rich and I think it would benefit from a drizzle of zingy orange sauce...
Orange Cheesecake Brownies
120g unsalted butter, softened (I used slightly salted [1% salt] and ommitted the salt)
250g caster sugar
2 medium eggs + 1yolk
210g good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted (I used 75% cocoa solids)
4 tablespoons espresso
1 tablespoon rum or brandy (I used rum)
165g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt, ground fine
340g full-fat soft cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia)
100g caster sugar
1 medium egg yolk
grated zest of one orange
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 9" square tin with foil (leave plenty of overhang so that you can lift the brownies out easily once baked).
Cream the butter with the sugar. Slowly add the eggs, beating after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, espresso and alcohol. Gently sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture. Fold in with a metal spoon.
In another bowl, cream together the cheese and sugar. Add the egg yolk followed by the flour. Add the grated zest and orange juice to finish. Add the juice slowly. The finished consistency should be similar to that of the brownie mix. Add more or less juice to achieve this. Put the cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.
Spoon half the brownie mix into the prepared tin. Pipe half of the cheese mixture over this in swirling bands, ensuring that you press the nozzle down into the brownie mixture. The cheese mixture should be embedded into the brownie mixture rather than merely sitting on the top. Spoon the rest of the brownie mixture over and spread out carefully. Pipe the remainder of the cheese mixture over this, again taking care to press down with the nozzle. Swirl through the bands with a skewer in zig-zags to accentuate the effect.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 27 mins) until a skewer poked into the centre comes out hot at the tip and has a few sticky crumbs adhereing to it (rather than a smeary film of chocolate). Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into 16 pieces.