These days, most fellow bloggers seem to be busy with baking cookies for the coming Chinese New Year. In Singapore, you can find most Chinese households stocking up on tubs of cookies and goodies - cashew cookies, green pea cookies, almond cookies, sugee cookies, pineapple tarts etc. Among these goodies, pineapple tarts have to be the most popular. With all these goodies around and the usual Chinese New Year feastings, it is hard to prevent ending up gaining some extra pounds.
I haven't quite started on any Chinese New Year baking yet and it is rather late to say, since Chinese New Year is approaching in less than 2 weeks time. There are so many goodies that I am itching to try out but I feel that I do not have the energy (or maybe because I am lazy..) to go on a baking spree. As each day pass, I remain clueless as to what goodies to churn out for the coming Chinese New Year. Maybe I will just keep it simple and take things a step at a time. If I do manage to bake anything, I will be participating in Aspiring Bakers Challenge #3.
I am glad to say that my momentum is coming back! Whew.. Time to get the momentum into swing and kick some ass in the kitchen, lol... Two days back, I made some cream cheese marble brownies. Baking brownies is a simple affair as compared to other bakes out there. There was once I made 3 different dark chocolate brownies consecutively in a week. An idea came to mind a few days back. These sweet treats will be great for Valentine's day as an alternative to chocolates.
I passed some of these brownies to my buddy K and my baking buddy Stephanie. Both gave postive feedbacks. K commented that its nice and not too sweet. Stephanie feels that its chocolatey followed by cream cheesey and its not sweet too. It was a bit soft for her though. For me, I thought that the cream cheese taste came first followed by the chocolate instead. It was quite an obvious layered taste, where one taste came right after the other. The only part that I feel could be improved was the height of the brownies (only about 1 cm tall!). They seemed a little short. Looking at the amount of batter, a smaller pan would be more appropriate.
Overall, the recipe is not too shabby, yielding tender not too rich brownies that were neither fudgy nor cakey nor dry. The firmness could be altered by controlling the baking time, adding more flour or chilling according to one's preference.
Cream Cheese Marble Brownies (recipe adapted from Biscuit Code by Florence Tan)
Serving size: 20-25 squares
Taste and texture: Fudgy, cheesey-chocolatey
Equipment and materials:
1) 8 x 8 square tin or 9 x 9 square tin2) Flour sieve
3) Weighing scale
4) Measuring bowls
5) Measuring spoon set
6) Wire whisk
7) Baking/Parchment paper
8) Standing/handheld mixer
9) Wire rack
10) spatula / wooden spoon
120g finely chopped dark chocolate (about 60%)
85g unsalted butter
95g castor sugar
100g whole eggs, at room temperature
85g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbs Kahlua/ Bailey's (optional)
60g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
180g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
55g castor sugar
50g whole egg, at room temperature
2 tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat Oven - Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Melt chocolate and butter - Sit a heatproof bowl over pan filled with water. The base of the bowl should not be touching the water. Place dark chocolate and 85g butter in the heatproof bowl. Bring water in the pan to a low simmer to melt the chocolate and butter douber-boiler). Stir gently to combine. After chocolate and butter have melted, remove bowl from heat and allow it to cool.
Making chocolate batter - In a mixing bowl, whisk sugar and eggs with a wire whisk briefly to dissolve the sugar. Stir in flour and salt to combine. Next, add in the cooled chocolate butter mixture and Kahlua/Bailey's. Mix well to combine. Scrap sides and bottom of mixing bowl to incoporate stray flour and ingredients.
Making cream cheese batter - In a separate mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in egg and beat well to combine, scraping sides and bottom of bowl when necessary.
Baking the brownies - Pour half of chocolate batter into a lined 8 x 8 inch square tin and level the surface. Spread cream cheese batter over the layer of chocolate batter. Scoop teaspoons of remaining chocolate batter randomly over the cream cheese layer. Use a toothpick or knife and swirl to create a marbling effect. Take carew not to over-swirl.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C. The top should be crusty and dull. When lightly pressed on the surface, the underneath feels semi-firm. Cool baked brownie in tin for 45mins before removing to cool completely on wire rack. Serve chilled or at room temperature as desired.
1) Chill to get a firm brownie or eat at room temperature if a soft brownie is desired