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Best Ever Cream Cheese Brownies

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

The best ever brownie base of this recipe stems from the Feb 09 Chatelaine magazine where they apparently tested dozens of brownie recipes to conclude that this was the best to which I would agree. I then had to try to make it even better and what could be better than a touch of cheesecake???? The recipe called for 6 squares of semi sweet chocolate however everyone knows that dark chocolate is good for you..so along with the additional dairy benefits of the cream cheese you could consider these brownies practically healthy. Plus the not too sweet dark chocolate has the added benefit to make the brownies enjoyable accompanied with a glass of (also healthy) red wine ;-) Perhaps adding a sprinkle of flax seed and dried cranberries could also qualify them as a meal substitute???? However I have not yet gone that far.

Ingredients

Serves: 16 squares

For the Brownie Base

  • 250 millilitres walnut pieces (toasted, chopped fine)
  • 250 millilitres flour
  • 63 millilitres unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 125 millilitres unsalted butter (soft and cut into pieces)
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 millilitres superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • 227 grams cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 83 millilitres superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Method

Best Ever Cream Cheese Brownies is a community recipe submitted by CathP and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Preheat oven to 325 (temp for toasting nuts AND baking brownies) Line a 8x8 metal baking pan with parchment strips cut long enough to overhang sides of pan to easily lift brownie slab out of pan after baking.
  • Lightly grease the pan before inserting parchment strips will assist in the parchment staying in place when you pour in batter.
  • You could also use non-stick foil strips to line pan.
  • Toast nuts for 10 minutes stirring halfway through. Sprinkle toasted nuts evenly in the bottom of the 8x8 parchment lined pan.
  • First prepare your cream cheese layer. In bowl of food processor or with a hand mixer process/whip cream cheese until smooth. Then add sugar, vanilla and egg process/whip until smooth and creamy. Set this aside and mix up the brownie batter.
  • In a small bowl stir together flour, salt, cocoa. Finely chop chocolate squares and then microwave with butter for approx 2 minutes stirring half-way through. OR place chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat stirring until melted.
  • Let mixture COOL before adding to egg mixture. In a large bowl whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla. Using a spatula scrape the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir to evenly mix.
  • Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate/egg mixture (dont overmix).
  • Spread slightly over ½ brownie batter over toasted nuts in bottom of 8x8 pan (parchment lined). Spread cream cheese layer over brownie base layer Spread (or drop in spoon fulls) remaining brownie batter over chream cheese layer.
  • Using blade of a small paring knife or spoon handle gently swirl batter and cream cheese filling to create a marbled effect.
  • Now the tricky part..bake until edges of brownies have slightly puffed, centre feels not quite firm when touched lightly and toothpick or cake tester inserted into center comes out with several moist, fudgy crumbs adhering..anywhere from 45 to 55 min. depending on your oven.
  • Cool brownies in pan 5 min. before using the parchment overhang to lift brownie from pan. Place on wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate at least 3 hours before cutting to serve.
  • Do not cut until ready to serve. The whole brownie bar can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil and refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen.
  • Additional Information

    Brownies prepared without the cream cheese layer will cook in about 35 min. Do Not Overbake.

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