So I’ve tried making cheese cake with triangle cheese La Vache Qui Rit. It worked (not ideal), but it worked. But recently this Milkana German cheese has been the saving grace for many cheese-base dessert. I did a double take, shocking because never in my small mind I’d associate Germany to cheese.
I wish I have more skills to manipulate the lightings and take better photos. I wish I have the time to do a proper photo before they were gone. But I didn’t. On the multiple occasions I made this. It’s so embarrassing to stop people half way to dessert and say, WAIT! I need to take photos first! So when I woke up to take photos of the leftover, it’s closer to noon than the golden hours.
So you’ll just have to trust me on this. They are really, really good. And even if you’re a novice baker, this is fail-proof brownie cheesecake. There’s no technique required. No machine needed. And if you don’t know what bain-marie is, ask me. Or google it. You probably have done that in the past without knowing its (french) technical term.
What makes them so good, you ask? The chocolate brownie is pretty dense and wet, the cream cheese gives a nice zing taste and acts as the perfect balm to the chocolate. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
A note on baking with cream cheese: don’t make the stupid (expensive) mistake as I did. Make sure your cream cheese has been sitting on room temperature for few hours before you use it. Otherwise it will just be lumpy, it won’t be smooth. Good luck!
CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES
(Source: Joy of Baking) – hop to the website if you want to see the video
Makes 16 squares
For the Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
For the Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz (227 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (65 grams) white sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper (shiny side up, if there is).
- [Making the brownie layer] Create a bain-marie, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the flour and salt and stir vigorously until the batter is smooth and glossy (about one minute).
- Remove 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the brownie batter and set it aside. Spread the remainder of the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Tap the tin few times to smoothen if needed.
- [Making the cream cheese layer] In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and process just until creamy and smooth (do not over process).
- [Assembling together] Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer.
- Take the reserved brownie and spoon 9 dollops (3 dollops in 3 rows). Using a toothpick or wooden skewer back and forth through the dollops to create a marble effect.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the brownies are set and the cream cheese is just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cover and refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (several hours or even overnight).
- Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.
~ I made this few times the past two weeks. I found that it’s better to be a little overbaked, than underbaked. If it’s underbaked, the brownies don’t cut as cleanly. The key is the browning happening on the cream cheese.
~ If you’re having difficulties in cutting the brownies cleanly, dip your knife in a glass of warm water and wipe it clean before each cut. I love to serve them cold.
~ Although the original recipe calls for lining the baking tin with aluminium paper, I find it tends to stick to the brownies and not as easy to peel. I found parchment paper is far easier.