Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Everyone has their favorite version of a brownie. I’ve fallen in love with two in my lifetime.

A great friend of mine named Brigitte and I worked at Dean and Delucca in Manhattan years ago. She was a really amazing girl and a very talented baker. Her Belgian triple chocolate brownie was definitely her triumph. It was chocked full of chunky pieces of dark chocolate in rich dark brownie cake. Irresistible, delicious and decadent all at the same time. I’d go over to her apartment to hang out with her – but would be secretly trying to see what was in her in kitchen that she put in those things! Its a shame that I can’t locate her website at the moment – it just might be down. Because they would take your order, bake and ship them in a day. Now I’m going crazy trying to find Brigitte’s Brownies!

My other favorite is from pastry chef Emily Luchetti. She currently creates award-winning desserts at Farallon and Water Bar in San Francisco. Its pretty common to find a Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie recipe almost anywhere these days. But knowing that such an accomplished pastry chef created these well before the boxed version was available on your grocery shelfs makes me feel a lot more comfortable about baking them. This recipe was created when she was the Executive Pastry Chef at Jeremiah Towers Stars restaurant.

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
7 ounces (1 3/4 sticks) soft sweet butter
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
20 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. You can line it with parchment paper if you like.

Chopping the Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate

Melt the chocolates in a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly.

Combine the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream on medium speed until light and fluffy. Continuing to mix, add 3 of the eggs and beat well. Stir in the melted chocolates and mix until smooth. Decrease to low speed and stir in the flour and salt.

Spread the chocolate batter evenly in the bottom of the pan, reserving 1 cup for later use.

Chocolate batter in pan

Combine the cream cheese and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a clean bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs and the vanilla extract and again beat until smooth.

Even layer of cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate

Spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the chocolate batter. Scatter spoonfuls of the reserved chocolate batter over the cream cheese mixture. With a knife, swirls the chocolate batter into the cream cheese mixture, creating a marble pattern.

The swirled batters together

Bake the brownies for 50 to 55 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a moist crumb.

Brownies cooking on the rack

Cool for a least 1-hour before cutting. Yields 1 dozen.