Curly Whirly Brownies
Makes 8 large, 16 medium, or 32 cocktail-sized brownies
Ingredients for brownies:
- Medium Eggs – 3
- Caster Sugar – 275g
- Salted Butter – 175g
- Dark Chocolate (54-60 per cent cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces – 200g
- Dark Chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), chopped into coffee-bean-sized pieces – 100g
- Plain Flour – 175g
Ingredients for cheesecake topping:
- Cream Cheese – 200g
- Icing Sugar – 75g
- Sifted seeds from 1/4 vanilla pod
- Medium Egg Yolk – 1
- Heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm x 34cm baking tray with baking parchment.
- Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and give a few whisks with a hand whisk or electric beater, then set aside. This helps the sugar start to dissolve.
- Put the butter in a pan and leave over a medium heat until it has completely melted and small bubbles are just beginning to rise to the surface; be careful not to let it boil. Turn off the heat, then add the 54-60 per cent chocolate and a third of the 70 per cent chocolate. Stir until melted.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar a little more until they turn paler, then add the chocolate mixture and mix to a smooth paste. Sift in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined. Finally stir in the remaining pieces of chocolate. Pour the mixture into the lined tray and level with a spatula or palette knife.
- To make the cheesecake topping, beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth, then mix in the egg yolk.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe it on to the brownie mix in parallel lines about 3cm apart.
- Drag a fork or knife through the cream cheese and the immediate surface of the chocolate mix to feather it. You are trying to achieve a slight mixing of the two. You could stick to straight lines or pipe swirls of the cream cheese mix on the surface. In the absence of a piping bag you could simply put small spoonfuls of the mixture on top, then drag a skewer or fork through it.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes in the top half of the oven. My oven has 4 runners and I generally bake on the second one up; for these brownies, however, I always use the third one up. This should guarantee that the cheesecake topping develops some colour without overcooking the brownies in the process. Leave to cool in the baking tray. The brownies should have a soft centre and fudge appearance when cooled. If they are too spongy, reduce the baking time by a minute or two on your next attempt.
- Cut into 8 large squares, 16 medium triangles, or 32 mini brownies.