Salted Black Cocoa Brownies & a Parfait

INGREDIENTS:
Salted Black Cocoa Brownies
makes one 9 x 13″ brownie or two 8″ brownies

  • salted butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup black cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • coarse sea salt

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Using the salted butter, grease the bottom and sides of the pan(s).  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the prepared dry ingredients, folding until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Batter will be very thick and difficult to stir.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse sea salt.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes if using a 9 x 13″ pan and for 25-30 minutes if using two 8″ pans.  Be careful not to over-bake.
  7. Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool completely before removing from pans and cutting.  (This part is the most difficult–resisting until they are all cool!)

the Parfait
I don’t have exact amounts here because it’s basically layering however much skyr, strawberries, and brownie you want.  🙂

  • strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • vanilla sugar (recipe here)
  • plain skyr / or plain greek yoghurt
  • half-and-half (or milk or cream)
  • salted black cocoa brownies, chopped into small pieces

METHOD:

  1. Combine and toss together gently the strawberries, a sprinkling of lemon juice, and vanilla sugar to taste.  Let sit while you prepare the skyr.
  2. Pour a small amount of half-and-half into the skyr and stir together, until the skyr’s consistency resembles thick yogurt.
  3. Layer between and top skyr with chopped brownies and macerated strawberries.
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Cocoa Brownies

INGREDIENTS:
makes two 8 x 8″ square pans

  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup black cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 heaping tspn coarse salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 cup AP flour

METHOD:

  1. Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Line the sides and bottom of the two 8 x 8 baking pans with parchment paper or foil, leaving some overhang so that you can lift out the brownies after baking. Set aside.
  2. In a double boiler over simmering water, combine the butter, cocoa powders, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter melts completely, everything is thoroughly combined, and the batter is just barely hot to the touch. Remove from the double boiler and let cool until warm.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate batter one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the flour in < 40 strokes.  Divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. The brownies will look a bit underdone, but they will continue to cook as they cool in the pans.
  7. Once completely cool, lift the brownies from the pans and cut into pieces.

Junior Brownie Swirl Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

For the brownie crust and brownie bites:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet
  • or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cheesecake:

  • three 8-ounce packages
  • cream cheese (use only full fat),
  • at room temperature
  • 11/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • 2 ounces bittersweet
  • or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the baking pan (but not the springform) with parchment or waxed paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the sides. Wrap the outside of the springform with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
  2. To make the brownies, melt the chocolate with the butter and let cool. In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high until light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, then the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture just until it disappears.
  3. Spread 2 cups of the batter in the springform to make the crust and the rest in the baking pan. Bake just until set around the sides, about 10 minutes for the crust and 25 minutes for the baking pan. (The centers will be slightly soft.) Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Leave the brownie crust in the springform. Lift the brownies out of the square pan onto a plate, using the paper hanging over the sides as handles. Cover both the crust and the square of brownies with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Cut the square of brownies with a serrated knife into 1-inch squares and set aside. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the 2/3 cup of cream just until completely blended. Don’t overmix! Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and set aside for the chocolate swirls.
  5. Cover the chocolate brownie crust in the pan with small brownie bites (12 to 16), covering as much of the crust as possible. Use only one layer of brownie bites in order to leave plenty of room for the cheesecake batter. (Eat the rest of the brownies!) Gently spoon the white batter over the brownie bites.
  6. Now make the chocolate swirls. Melt the chocolate and stir into the reserved white batter until completely blended. Using a teaspoon, drop the chocolate batter on top of the white batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a swirling “figure 8” design, just until chocolate swirls appear.
  7. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top of the cake has golden and dark chocolate swirls, about 11/4 hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon cream in a 1-inch border around the top edge of the cake (this helps keep the nuts in place). Sprinkle the walnuts over the cream, pressing the nuts down gently, making a 1-inch border around the top outside edge. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover leftover cake and refrigerate or freeze up to 1 month.
  9. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, about 3 inches high.

Bittersweet Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

Yield: 9 large or 16 smaller brownies

Brownie Layer Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • funsize Snickers (optional)

Cream Cheese Layer Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C and place the rack in the center of the oven. Prepare a 9-inch square baking pan: Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Create a foil sling for the pan by cutting two 16-inch lengths of foil and fold them to widths of 5 inches each. Fit foil pieces into baking dish, one overlapping the other, pushing them into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. This creates a sling that will help you remove the brownies after baking and cooling. Spray foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place a heat-proof stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Place the butter and chocolate in the bowl to melt. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well with a wooden spoon after adding each. Add the flour and salt and continue stirring with the wooden spoon until the batter is glossy, smooth, and pulls away from the side of the bowl (about one minute). Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter for topping. Pour the rest of the batter carefully into prepared pan (here, you can stud the batter with rows of funsize Snickers if desired.
  4. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to blend the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and egg and blend just until smooth. Spread this mixture carefully over the brownie layer, and then place dollops of the 1/2 cup reserved brownie batter at even intervals over the top. Use a table knife or wooden skewer to carefully marble the dollops through the cream cheese, careful not to mix the batters.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until almost cool. Then, chill the brownies in the refrigerator for about two hours, until they’re firm enough to cut into squares. Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the ends of the foil sling carefully. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 9 or 16 squares as desired, cleaning the knife with a warm, damp cloth between cuts. You can store leftovers in airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

VERSION 2

INGREDIENTS:

Cheesecake topping:

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Brownie Layer:

  • 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

METHOD:

  1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1-inch. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. 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.
  4. Brownie layer: Put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75 percent power for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again until melted and smooth, about 30 seconds longer. (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.)
  5. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl.
  6. 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 disappears.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. Spray a knife with cooking spray and cut into 2-inch squares.

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

chocolate espresso cheesecake brownies

Espresso cheesecake brownies

For the Brownies:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, with a rack in the center.
  2. Butter a 9″ square baking pan placed on a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the first three ingredients.
  4. Put the butter and chocolate over a double boiler with water simmering.
  5. Stir until the ingredients melt, but don’t overheat so that the butter separates.
  6. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside.
  7. Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture with a whisk, then add the eggs one at a time.
  8. Beat well after each egg, then beat in the vanilla.
  9. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients until they disappear. Set aside.

 For the Cheesecake:

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water ( I didnt have this so I bought a hot expresso)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

METHOD:

  1. Allow the espresso to cool to tepid.
  2. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese on medium until it’s completely smooth.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes more.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and espresso before adding the eggs one at a time.
  5. Beat for 1 minute after each egg, then reduce the speed to low and add the sour cream, then the flour. The batter should be smooth.
  6. Pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Smooth it out, then pour the cheesecake layer over the top, taking care to make it even.
  8. Place spoonfuls of the rest of the brownie batter on top, and use a knife to swirl the dark and light batters together. Be careful, however, not to plunge the knife into the base brownie layer.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes. The brownies should come away from the sides of the pan. The cheesecake will puff and turn lightly browned around the edges.
  10. Transfer the pan to a wrack to cool.
  11. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.
  12. Cut it squares.

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Image

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 16 Brownies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose)
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving extra for overhang; set aside.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Whisk together until melted and combined; remove from the heat and set aside to begin cooling.
  3. While the butter mixture is still a bit warm, add the eggs and vanilla. Stir together until the batter becomes thick and glossy. Mix in the flour and stir until combined. Fold in the cherries.
  4. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small crumbs clinging to it, 33-35 minutes.
  5. Let cool in the pan on a rack. Remove the brownies from the pan by grasping the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into 16 squares. Wrap the bars individually with waxed or parchment paper or plastic wrap, seal with tape, and pack in a zipper-top plastic bag or other container. Alternatively, layer unwrapped bars in an airtight container, separating the layers with waxed or parchment paper.

Brownie Fudge Trifle

Brownie Fudge Trifle

Brownie Fudge Trifle

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 4

  • 1 pkg. chocolate fudge instant pudding + 2 cups cold milk
  • brownies, cut into cubes
  • whipped cream (Reddi Whip or Cool Whip works, too)
  • chopped candy

METHOD:

  1. Make the pudding.
  2. In individual dishes or a trifle dish, layer pudding, brownies, whipped cream, candy, and repeat, ending with whipped cream and candy.