Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pecan & Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies

The cold weather outside is a great excuse to stay inside and start baking! These cheesecake brownies are rich and sticky, the perfect antidote to shivery nights.

Makes 16


Filling 1:
100g (4oz) cream cheese or similar (I used Ricotta)
25g (1oz) butter, softened
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or few drops vanilla essence
1 egg
25g (1oz) plain flour 
Filling 2:
100g (4oz) dark dessert chocolate, broken into pieces
40g (1 ½oz)  unsalted butter
2 eggs
150g (5oz) caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g (5oz) pecan nuts


-    To make Filling 1, thoroughly cream the cheese and butter. Beat in the caster sugar, vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence), egg and flour. Set aside.

-     To make Filling 2, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simming water. Stir until well blended then remove the bowl and allow to cool.

-     Lightly whisk the eggs and gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is creamy and thick. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, and stir it into the mixture.

-     Stir 100g of the chopped pecans into Filling 2.

-     Spread half of filling 2 over the base of a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin. Spread Filling 1 on top, then top with the remaining portion of Filling 2.

-     Draw a knife or cocktail stick through the mixture with a zig zag motion to produce a marbled effect and scatter the remaining nuts on top.

-     Bake in a preheated oven at 180oc/350oF/Gas Mark 4  for 35-40 minutes until almost dry and firm to the touch.

-     Cut into approximately 16 squares whilst still warm. Leave to cool in the tin, placing it on a wire tray.

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