Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

This weekend was a good reminder that sometimes things don't always turn out quite the way you plan when you bake! I really wanted to make this marbled red velvet cheesecake brownie recipe by The Novice Chef for a party I was going to on Saturday night, but I ran into a few bumps along the way.

First of all, I used the wrong sized pan to make these heart shaped brownies. The pan I used was too short and the heart cutter I had was too big, so I would have only been able to cut out about 8 hearts from the pan!! My brownies were much thicker than they were supposed to be, so I had to cut them into little cubes in order to make enough for everyone at the party. I was able to make two hearts for my boyfriend though. :)

Second, I should have let the brownies bake a few minutes longer. The recipe said to bake them for 30 minutes, but I think I should have gone for at least 35. The center was still a big jiggly which made them difficult to cut, although I kind of liked the gooey cheesecake texture and so did everyone at the party!

Third, the brownie portion didn't really taste like brownie - they were more like blondies. You couldn't taste the chocolate at all. Luckily the cheesecake portion tasted fantastic and totally made up for it, but if you want these to taste like chocolate and cheesecake, you'll need to add a lot more cocoa powder.

Despite all of these minor issues, they still tasted really great!! The brownies didn't look quite as pretty as I had hoped, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving. :)

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe copyright The Novice Chef
Makes 16 hearts

Red Velvet Layer...
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons milk, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring (I actually used pink instead!)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Cheesecake Layer...
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 18 jelly roll pan (I used a 13x9 pan...oops) with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract, food coloring, and white vinegar.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients, until completely combined. The batter will be a really thick, almost moldable texture...but don't worry, that's what you want. 
  5. Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and place it in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk. Set aside the 3/4 cup batter.
  6. Pour the big bowl of batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Using a spatula, smooth out the batter to reach all the edges.
  7. Now, in your stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined and there are no lumps.
  8. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the red velvet layer and smooth mixture till it reaches all the edges.
  9. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining red velvet batter (that you mixed with milk) onto the top of the cheesecake layer. Drag the tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cheesecake layers to create swirls so it looks like this:

10. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating half way through, or just until the center is set and it no longer jiggles. (When I took my pan out, it didn't look jiggly but it was on the inside.) Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

11. Then use a medium sized heart cookie cutter to make Valentine's Day themed treats, or cut them in to small squares like I did if you used the wrong sized pan! :)

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