I've been sorting through decades of digital photos. Perhaps 'decades' is an exaggeration but it's thousands and thousands of images, so it's a task that has required excessive determination and unfaltering stickability. In amongst the snaps of every zoo in the southern hemisphere, shots of each birthday and Christmas celebration plus endless school sports day montages, there were plenty of food photos - no surprise there - and in amongst them, these Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies.
I picked up the recipe in a branch of Waitrose, back in the day when in-store, glossy recipe cards were a thing (pre-internet, I imagine) and although I haven't baked them in a while, I could still remember how much we had all enjoyed them. It's a rich chocolatey brownie base, swirled with a zesty, orange cheesecake topping. The recipe works perfectly with no alterations, but I've adjusted the method and instructions to make it simpler and easier to follow. And as well as tasting great, they are also pretty; the camera loves that marbling.
So how do you make these Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies?
Well, there are two parts to these lovelies -
- Firstly there's the cheesecake batter - it's a simple one made by beating together cream cheese; a touch of sugar and flour and a beaten egg. The orange flavouring comes from the zest and juice of an orange. Not at all challenging.
- Then, there's the brownie mixture - it uses LOTS of delicious melted dark chocolate (so that bodes well) and has butter, eggs, flour and sugar added to create the 'brownieness'.
And the magic happens when you combine the cheesecake batter with the brownie mixture …
How do you create the marbled effect on the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies?
It's not difficult, but I do have tips …
- Spread the brownie mixture out in the prepared tin.
- Now spoon half of the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie mixture in six large spoonfuls, spacing them fairly evenly.
- Use a dessert spoon to gently fold a little of the brownie mixture over the top of each circle of cheesecake batter. You need to work quickly but carefully. Now repeat the process with the remaining cheesecake batter. We are not looking for perfection here but you are aiming for something resembling a marbled effect. My batter looked like this -
The brownies take about 25 minutes to bake.
What other tips can I share about these brownies?
- Leave the brownies to cool completely in the tin.
- They are much easier to cut if you then chill them in the fridge, but if you are impatient to get eating, they respond well to being sliced with a hot knife (ie dip it in boiling water and dry it before cutting).
- These brownies are best served chilled and need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
- They are great as a dessert with a little crème fraîche.
- Cut them into small squares to serve with coffee or to eat each time you walk past the fridge!
- Wrapped in cellophane, they would make a perfect gift.
So now that I can legitimately delete the old photos of the first incarnation of these Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies, I can focus on how to manage all of those pesky zoo images. My interest in giraffes through the early 2000s is limited I fear! Wish me luck, I'm going in ...