When I saw this recipe, I knew I couldn’t resist. Three chocolate layers? Come on. Plus, it has two of my absolute favorite things: chocolate and cream cheese. So, I dove right in and tried them out.
The filing was very easy. I do wish that I’d had some really good chocolate, though. I settled for semisweet chocolate chips. I opted for the microwave method of melting. I forget who first pointed out to me that chocolate chips won’t change their shape until stirred even though they are melted. That bit of knowledge will save you from completely killing them while waiting for them to melt.
After I mixed the brownie batter, I got to use quite the handy kitchen tool – the offset spatula, which worked very nicely for spreading the batter in the pan. The filling spread very easily on top. I was a bit worried about spreading the other half of the batter on top of that filling. I figured that spreading the thick batter on top of the smooth filling without mixing the two would prove difficult. But, it actually spread reasonably well.
As I’m prone to do, I set the oven timer for 30 minutes, not 35. That proved to be just right for my oven. I used finely chopped semisweet chocolate baking squares for the icing. They melted nicely and spread even more nicely. Three-fourths of the chocolate was plenty. It made a lovely, shiny, smooth icing.
I would like to note that cutting them was a bit tricky. The icing layer easily broke apart. The best approach I found was to cut a large piece out of the pan, and then use a chef’s knife to cut the large piece into smaller pieces. Wiping off the knife after every cut helped, too.
Now, for the important part. How do they taste? Very, very chocolately. These are rich. I cut them very small, because a small bite is plenty. I think a good description of these is “grownup brownies.” Wonderful flavors, but not your average brownie.
These brownies are definitely worth making again. I think I would like to add something to the icing layer to make it a bit more… stable. Something to keep it from breaking so easily.
- 1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the filling:
Place 1/2 cup chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at half power in 30-second increments until chocolate melts when stirred. Set aside to cool.
Beat cream cheese and egg until fluffy. Add chocolate mixture, mixing well. Mix in flour and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate. Place in refrigerator.
For the brownies:
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9"x 13" baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts.
Sift flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture.
Spread half of the batter into prepared pan. Spread chilled filling over batter. Transfer remaining batter on top of filling. Spread evenly.
Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the icing:
Sprinkle about 3/4 of chocolate on top of warm brownies. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then, spread the chocolate evenly over the brownies. Add remaining chocolate if necessary to cover the top of the brownies.