Saturday, July 25, 2020

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I feel like there's no introduction needed for this recipe.

Peanut butter + Cheesecake + Brownies.

It's a no brainer that these are DELICIOUS!

As usual, this recipe involves a Scientifically Sweet signature fudgy brownie and a peanut butter cheesecake swirl. It's 3 of my most favourite things all wrapped up in one!

It's so moist and rich that you really need to only cut these in small squares, but then if you eat two, then I totally get you!

The base is simple and in fact the whole thing can be made without a mixer. All you really need is a whisk and a spatula. 

How to make a fudgy brownie?

Putting in some elbow grease to really whip up the eggs will benefit you if you admire that shiny crust. It will help to dissolve the sugar which ultimate contributes to the gloss. Use a mixer if you don't want to work too hard, but a whisk will do just fine. 

How to make creamy cheesecake?

The first step is to absolutely ensure your cream cheese is soft! Leave it out of the fridge for 2-4 hours before you intend to bake. Using cold cream cheese will most definitely promise lumps!

The second trick is the order of mixing. Always beat the cream cheese with sugar first! Sugar acts as an abrasive to break down the cheese and smooth it out. Also, it is hygroscopic which means that it binds water, so it will pull the moisture from the cream cheese, dissolve in it and help create a silky glossy mixture. THEN, you can add the egg. Never add the egg before the sugar.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

makes 12-16 brownies

5 oz (142g) dark chocolate (60% cocoa), chopped
6 tbsp (84g) unsalted butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup (50g) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (6g) cocoa powder

Peanut butter cheesecake:
½ pkg (125g) cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp (40g) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3 tbsp (45ml) smooth peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang along each side.

Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with ½-inch of simmering water and stir until completely melted, smooth and glossy. Or, melt chocolate with butter in the microwave in short 20 second bursts with frequent stirring.

Combine eggs with both sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat for 4-5 minutes until pale, thick and fluffy. When you lift up the beaters, the egg foam will fold in ribbons back onto itself as it falls back into the bowl. Beat in salt then mix in the warm melted chocolate mixture until evenly blended. Combine flour and cocoa in a small bowl to press out any lumps then sprinkle it over the batter and fold it in until well incorporated and smooth. Spread 3/4 of the batter into prepared pan and set aside.

For the cheesecake mixture, beat soft cream cheese with sugar until smooth and glossy. Mix in egg yolk and then stir in peanut butter. Dollop this mixture randomly over the chocolate batter. Add spoonfuls of the reserved brownie batter on top and swirl it all together with a skewer. Bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour before slicing into squares.

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