If you want to see what these brownies should have looked like, click here. I messed this one up. Bad. They still tasted OK in the end, but when you forget to add half of the ingredients and only realize it midway through, “ok” tasting brownies are better than nothing…
I was really excited about this recipe since The Food Network website lauded these as a healthier dessert option and it got great reviews. If I hadn’t forgotten to add the melted chocolate, butter and canola oil that was sitting in a bowl on the other side of the kitchen then maybe I’d be able to agree with the reviewers!
I did try to salvage it…which may have been worse in the end. Only when I added the cheesecake layer did I realize my mistake, start sweating and saw the dog staring at me like I was a crazy person. I tried my best to scoop out the cheesecake, add in the missing ingredients to the brownie layer and whisk it together, all without mixing in the cooking spray. I then poured what once was the cheesecake layer back on top, except it was no longer white from mixing with the chocolate when I attempted to scrape it out. So my cheesecake swirls didn’t turn out and much of the flavor was muddled.
The end result was a brownie that was moist, and kinda- chocolately and with every few bites you might get a hint of the cheesecake. I’m only posting this because if so many other people reviewed this and liked it then it must be good, even if I can’t attest to it!
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1-inch. Spray with cooking spray.
Cheesecake topping: In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar and the vanilla until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until well blended. Set aside.
Brownie layer: Put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for increments of 30 seconds, and stir until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small heatproof bowl. Bring a small saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, not touching, the water, and stir occasionally, until melted and smooth.)
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl.
Combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg whites, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated and the batter is thick and glossy. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir just until it is combined.
Reserve 1/2 cup brownie batter and set aside. Scrape the remaining brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake mixture evenly over top. Drop the reserved brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the handle of a wooden spoon through the two batters to create a swirled effect.
Bake until the top is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift brownies out of the pan by the foil and peel off the foil. Cut into 2-inch squares.