Cheesecake brownies (the original, gorgeous recipe is here)
A conversation between myself and my friend Alistair at Karaoke a few weeks back...
Al: Sarah, are you guys coming up to my holiday house in July?
Me: Yeah, of course! Maybe I'll bring...
Al: CHEESE STARS?!
Me: ...I was going to say Family Guy DVD's, but I guess I could...
Al: CHEESE STARS!!
My friend Allstar (who I seem to have cooked for quite a bit over the years) is, for some reason, obsessed with my cheese stars. (Which are, in fact, Nigella's cheese stars, from How to Eat). When we went up to his holiday house last weekend for general mayhem (of the guitar hero variety), I brought a quadruple batch of cheese stars with me. I wasn't feeling particularly energetic, so instead of rolling out the dough and cutting out stars, I decided to roll the dough into a big log and slice off rounds to bake. (Like what I did at my mum's birthday last year!) I forgot to take any photos, but I'm sure I've made them enough for you to get the gist.
Of course, that shortcut gave me a bit of extra baking time... and I knew this would be the perfect excuse to make David Lebovitz's Cheesecake Brownies. I saw the recipe some months ago on his blog, and, after prising my jaw off the floor, bookmarked the recipe. And even though I could have made them for any old weekend, I knew that such intense double deliciousness would be best shared amongst a large group.
The recipe was quite simple to make, but I found it a bit difficult to swirl the soft cream cheese mixture through David's stiff (heh) chocolate batter.
The given quantities make a rather alarming amount of cheesecake swirl, and although I was a bit apprehensive about it, the chocolate batter does expand in the oven. The cream cheese taste is quite dominating, so I'd reduce it by about 1/4 ~ 1/3 if you're not a fan of the sour taste.
I packed ze gorgeous swirly brownies in a Tupperware to transport up to Al's place and then stacked them up in a rather resplendent brownie pyramid.
As you can imagine, these babies are incredibly rich, and best enjoyed in small pieces with a cup of tea or coffee. The richness didn't seem to stop my friends however - I ate a couple after I arrived, had a short nap, and when I came back the plate was empty!