Chocolate and cream cheese combination is one of my favorites, so when I was planning to bake a batch of brownies, I’ve decided to add a cream cheese swirl to it. I wanted to make the plain brownies a bit more interesting, so I ended up adding espresso powder, black pepper and cinnamon to the chocolate batter. Now the cream cheese layer needed an upgrade as well – and I ended up adding some dried cranberries to it.
All these ingredients worked wonderfully together. The result is rich and sweet – quite far from my usual “sweet enough” type of desserts. But after all, what is life without the occasional indulgence?
I’m sure you’ll agree, once you’ll try these tasty brownies.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
6¼ oz (175 grams) dark chocolate (70%)
½ tsp espresso powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs raw cocoa powder
3 L eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
For the cream cheese swirl:
6 oz (170 grams) cream cheese, soft
1 L egg
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8×8” (20×20 cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a pot with boiling water. Transfer to a work surface and add the espresso powder, salt, pepper, sugar and cocoa, and whisk together. Let cool a bit, add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and mix briefly. Add the walnuts, mix and pour into the lined pan.
3. The cream cheese swirl: in a small food processor, process the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, salt and cornstarch, to a smooth mixture. Add the cranberries and mix with a spatula. Pour over the chocolate layer. Using a fork, create a marble pattern.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut off the edges and cut into portions.