Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Caramel Espresso Cheesecake Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce*

1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk chocolate
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

3/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 heaped tbsp caramel*
1 small egg

  • Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F. 
  • Line a deep pan (11x7in) with baking paper letting the paper hang over the edges. You also can use a square pan (9x9in).
  • Chop the two types of chocolate into small chunks. Place the chocolate and butter into a microwavable bowl and microwave on high, stirring after each minute.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Put the eggs and sugar in large bowl and use a hand whisk to mix together. 
  • Add a little of the melted chocolate into the eggs and gently whisk together. Gradually add all the chocolate and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso and salt into the chocolate and fold together with a spatula.
  • Add the chocolate chips and fold them in.
  • Mix the cream cheese, flour, egg, icing sugar and caramel* together until smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. 
  • Spoon the cream cheese in three parallel lines across the length of the pan. 
  • Drag a knife across the cheesecake lines across the with of the pan to create swirls and gently mix the two batters.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or up to 40 depending on pan size. 
  • The brownies are ready when mostly firm on top with a slight 'give'. 
  • Test after 30 minutes – a skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs attached but if batter is still too wet bake for a further 5 mins.
  • Turn the oven off, open the door and pull tray part way out. Leave the brownies there until tray is cool enough to handle.
  • Put the tray on a drying rack to cool completely. 
  • Lift the brownies out of the pan using the paper overhang and refrigerate for a couple of hours. 
  • Cut neatly into squares. 
  • Drizzle with a little extra caramel as desired.

*Salted Caramel Sauce

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup Baileys or Coffee liqueur or what-have-you?
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt (more or less to taste)

  • Combe the cream and liqueur in a cup.
  • Put the sugar and water in a medium heavy-bottom pan.
  • Bring to the boil and cook, swirling the pan, until the sugar dissolves and the colour changes to amber.
  • Remove from the head and pour the cream carefully into the caramel.  Caution:  This will cause the caramel to bubble.
  • When the bubbling stops, add the butter and whisk till combined.
  • Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the caramel for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the salt and taste (very carefully - it's hot!!!)
  • Strain the caramel through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool.  
  • You can thin the caramel by adding more liqueur or cream.
  • Keep in the fridge in a lidded jar.
  • If it sets you can heat it gently in glass jar (without the top!) in microwave until it's pouring consistency again.