Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Happy Birthday Mum!

My mum is always on a diet and she absolutely loves chocolate, and specifically chocolate brownies. You don't have to be a math whizz to figure out that diets and brownies don't go together and so she usually (very admirably) abstains. So when I told her I was going to make her a cake for her birthday, she instantly requested 'those chocolatey things'. 'Brownies?' I asked. She nodded vehemently.

One of the main reasons I decided to blog about baking was so that it would motivate me to try out new recipes. So instead of making our (mine, my sister and my cousin's) tried and tested brownie recipe which I love, I decided to try out these 'Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies with Heath Bars and Pecans' (but without the pecans) from the 'At Home with Magnolia' cook book.

I think Heath bars are like Daim bars but I forgot to buy some so I just used white chocolate instead. My verdict? Hmmm - they were nice and very fudgy but way too sweet, and this is after I reduced the sugar and used brown sugar instead. The whole point is that the brownie bit is sweet but the cream cheese topping not so much and they balance each other out but I still think the brownie bit is way too sweet, and this coming from me; someone whom the term 'sweet tooth' defines better than any other! Also, they took forever to bake, at least twice what the instructions said!
Actually, I think I'll just try my regular recipe with this cream cheese topping next time.  Saying that though, everybody else really liked them so they're not terrible, I just personally think there must be a better recipe for these out there. I'll try and perfect it myself and let you all have my amended recipe.

Cream cheese swirl brownies with heath bars 

Cream Cheese Filling
227g cream cheese, not softened
28g sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

106g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
170g unsalted butter
113g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
200g sugar (I prefer brown sugar in brownies, I think they give it a better rounded flavour rather than just sugary sweetness)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
85g chopped Daim bars

Preheat oven to 170ÂșC / Gas Mark 3. Grease and lightly flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan
1 - To make the cream cheese filling: In a medium size bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth.
Add the egg and flour and beat well. Set aside.
2 - To make the brownies: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium size saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the Sugar
Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3 - Stir in half of the chopped Daim bars. (white chocolate in my case)
Reserve 1/2 cup of the brownie batter.
Spread the rest of the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Drop the cream cheese mixture by tablespoons over the batter.
Next, drop the reserved brownie batter by teaspoonfuls in between the cream cheese filling.
Using a small knife, swirl the two batters together, forming a decorative pattern.
Sprinkle the remaining Daim pieces (white chocolate) over the top, and using a spatula, gently press into the batter.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Do not overbake.
Allow to cool overnight before serving.


Nicole Peterson said...

Have to try your suggestion of brown sugar in brownies to see what level of sweetness and flavor it gives it.

MsAfropolitan said...

How many did your mum have in the end?

I'm not that much of a sweet tooth, I'd rather eat two main courses than main + dessert lol for real, but I do love brownies. They're my absolute favourite cake, and I feel like I'm always on the hunt for the perfect one!

Looking fwd to the amended recipe as this one might just be too sweet for me considering :)

Chic Therapy said...

i wasnt hungry until now!!!looks yummy as usual..:-)

Vickii said...

@Nicole - Let me know how you get on. I generally prefer brown sugar in anything chocolatey :D

@MsAfropolitan - She had a couple but she also had the cheesecake. However she didn't touch the leftovers from the following day! I'm the opposite to you - I love food but ultimately, it's just the prelude to desert ;p

@Chic Therapy - Thank you!

zza said...

I had the most delicious fat free brownies the other day. You should try them out. Made with yogurt instead of oil or butter. DIVINE and I NEVER diet.

Vickii said...

Thanks for the tip Zza, I've never heard of using yogurt before! Even though non fat brownies sound like an oxymoron, I like the challenge ;p I'll try and find a good recipe!

simplychic said...

it's ashame how excited food makes me! thank God for a high metabolism. can not wait to try these!