TWD: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

cheesecake-brownies-5

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in a TWD challenge.  The end of Summer is always such a busy time for me.  I hope to get a chance to “catch up” and make a few of the recipes I missed, but realistically, how many desserts can one family consume!  And by “family” I pretty much mean “me”, as neither Mini SGCC nor Mr. SGCC hardly ever touch all of the sweets I make. The girls in my office have threatened to demand a clothing allowance if I keep bringing in so many fattening treats to them.  Even my neighbors are starting to avoid eye contact when they see me on the street!  But, when I saw that this week’s TWD recipe incorporated two of my favorite things – brownies and cheesecake – I caved in and had to try it!

Dorie’s Espresso Cheesecake Brownies start out with a layer of dark, fudgy brownies that are topped with a luscious espresso flavored cheesecake batter.  After baking, the brownies are topped with another layer of sweetened sour cream.  The recipe was chosen by  Melissa from Life in a Peanut Shell, and she has very good taste!    

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The recipe for these lovelies is pretty easy and straightforward, although I did have a little execution issue with the brownie base.  For some reason, my batter was a little on the thick and gloppy side.  It didn’t cause any problems for me while spreading out the brownie layer in my pan.  But, the consistency made swirling it into the cheesecake batter virtually impossible.  Of course, I could have tried to thin it out a little, but by the time I realized there was a problem, there were already clumps of brownie batter floating in the cheesecake mixture and….well, you can guess the rest.  Still, I attempted to swirl it in the best I could and stuck it in the oven with my fingers crossed.

The verdict?  Well, I liked these a lot, but there are a few things I would do differently if I ever decided to make them again.  The first change I would make would be to either double the recipe for the brownie base or use a smaller pan.  I used the recommended nine inch pan and my brownies were way too thin – barely a half an inch high.  And, even though I baked them for only twenty-five minutes at 340 degrees F., they verged on being overcooked.  In my opinion, they were a little dry.  I think that the brownies would have been much more fudgy and moist if they were thicker.  I think I would also add some espresso to them as well.  I would have liked a more pronounced espresso flavor in these brownies and I just didn’t get it from the cheesecake layer.  Doing this, might also solve my problem with the brownie batter being too thick for swirling.

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Although, it tasted great, I would probably opt not to add the sour cream layer to these.  My sour cream layer never really firmed up enough, even though the brownies sat in the fridge for several hours.  It was very difficult to slice them into neat bars for photos.  Stacking one on top of another just mashed down the sour cream and had it running over the sides.  Not an attractive look for pictures!  Aside from just laying them side by side on a plate, there wasn’t much you could do with them.

If you’d like to see lots and lots of Espresso Cheesecake Brownies, don’t forget to stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie site.  And, if you’d like to try them out for yourself, the recipe can be found on Melissa’s site.  Now, I’ve got to go and find some more willing victims to take some of these brownies off my hands! ;)

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Enjoy!

58 responses to TWD: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

  1. On September 01, 2009 at 10:44am, Margaret said...

    Brownies look so tasty with the sprinkle on the top. I made 3 minis and baked for about 17 minutes convection and they came out perfectly, bake wise. I think I would double the base recipe too if I used for a regular recipe.

    Welcome back to TWD!!

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:16am, Susan said...

      Thanks, Margaret! :)

  2. On September 01, 2009 at 10:53am, Amy J said...

    Man I wished you lived close by ’cause I would certainly run down to be a taste tester for ya. These look good even with the kinks you described.

  3. On September 01, 2009 at 11:11am, Bellini Valli said...

    Just too funny Susan. I can see the neighbours avoiding eye contact and the staff demanding a clothing allowance. Can you imagine:D All that said I would break my vow for just one of these delicious brownies.

  4. On September 01, 2009 at 11:16am, Rosa said...

    Those look extremely scrumptious! Wow!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. On September 01, 2009 at 11:17am, Spike said...

    I’m always looking for new people to take some treats off of my hands too! Your brownies look great- good plans for next time also

  6. On September 01, 2009 at 11:19am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    You seem to be having a better time testing recipes than I am. I think I’m working with the wrong book! I kind of like how the cream cheese layer sits on top of the brownies rather than swirled in. It builds the flavor instead of mixing it – not a bad thing.

  7. On September 01, 2009 at 11:49am, Dawn said...

    The pictures look amazing! I completely know what you mean about finding tasters. Since its just my husband and I, my sweets are carted over to my parents semi-often, but even they’ve started to threaten!

  8. On September 01, 2009 at 12:11pm, patsyk said...

    oooh, I’ll take a couple of those delightful brownies off your hands!

  9. On September 01, 2009 at 1:05pm, Cristine said...

    Your brownies look great!

  10. On September 01, 2009 at 1:34pm, Sihan said...

    definitely scrumptious looking. and i can’t believe your neighbours give you dirty looks?! I’ll be glad to take some from you. haha.

  11. On September 01, 2009 at 1:46pm, Vibi said...

    WOW! Your brownies look ridiculously amazing! Almost like they belong in a fudge and confectionnary store!
    Very, very well done! …and great pictures too!

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:13am, Susan said...

      Merci beaucoup, Vibi! :)

  12. On September 01, 2009 at 2:37pm, grace said...

    how ironic that you’re battling dryness whilst i’m fighting the urge to pull things out too soon. they’re still beautiful, and i’m always up for a little extra caffeine. :)

  13. On September 01, 2009 at 2:41pm, nina said...

    Ok, ok, I give in……..I cannot look at another one of these delicious brownies!!! Simply to die for!!!!

  14. On September 01, 2009 at 2:46pm, Donna said...

    Oh Lordy my friend… This is why my BUTT is getting so BIG… but don’t stop sharing these yummy recipes with us… YUMO!!! I am all over this one!

    Thanks
    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:12am, Susan said...

      Lol! Precisely why I’m always looking for people to give them to. ;)

  15. On September 01, 2009 at 3:11pm, Lauryn said...

    Your brownies look amazing!! I agree that the brownie layer was too thin. Mine were like cheescake bars with a brownie crust. Yours really do look delicious!

  16. On September 01, 2009 at 3:15pm, Debbie said...

    They look delicious…!

  17. On September 01, 2009 at 3:43pm, Jennifer said...

    Your brownies DO look delicious! And I agree, the brownies could have been fudgier!

  18. On September 01, 2009 at 4:07pm, Eliana said...

    your brownies look picture perfect. great job.

  19. On September 01, 2009 at 4:21pm, Wendy said...

    Your brownies look perfect!

  20. On September 01, 2009 at 5:54pm, steph (whisk/spoon) said...

    i know…it is dessert overload every week! i’m sure you’ve found someone to take these lovlies off you hands though!

  21. On September 01, 2009 at 6:37pm, andrea said...

    Well, they maybe aren’t very big, but they look extremely tasty! I am salavating here, lol!
    I have Dorie’s book and have yet to make one thing from it. I think these shall be first up, so thank you for the tips, you’re the tops!

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:10am, Susan said...

      Thanks! :) You’ll love the book once you get into it. So many wonderful treats to try!

  22. On September 01, 2009 at 8:28pm, HoneyB said...

    LOL – I am avoiding eye contact myself at work….people have been harassing me because I HAVEN’T been baking. Maybe you could send some of your treats my way. Purely because I need to appease my coworkers. Seriously. ;-)

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:08am, Susan said...

      Lol! ;)

  23. On September 01, 2009 at 9:23pm, MaryBeth said...

    Fabulous looking brownies…

  24. On September 01, 2009 at 9:37pm, Jen of a2eatwrite said...

    This review was great because I probably would make these otherwise, and there were enough difficulties that I’ll be happy to forego them. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out as you wanted, though.

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:07am, Susan said...

      I do think they’re worth trying if you use a smaller pan. They were very good. :)

  25. On September 02, 2009 at 12:10am, Jodie said...

    They look fantastic. I used an 8 inch pan and they were wonderfully thick!

    • On September 02, 2009 at 8:03am, Susan said...

      Ah Ha! I knew it. Thanks! :)

  26. On September 02, 2009 at 12:43am, Coleen said...

    Boy, I hear you when you say that you enjoy baking too much. I have the same problem (finding people to eat all that I want to bake). These brownies, though, look irresistible, I think I’ll have to cave in and try these.

  27. On September 02, 2009 at 1:09am, Divina said...

    Oohh lala, what a tempting brownie cheesake.

  28. On September 02, 2009 at 8:37am, Teanna said...

    Ha!!! I am running into the same problem – I have no one to give my food away to anymore! And I don’t want it sticking to my hips! Haha! The brownies look great, and I totally agree with all of your comments!

  29. On September 02, 2009 at 10:45am, ingrid said...

    I don’t know, they sure look good. Maybe the brownies were supposed to be firmer as they’re the “base”? Either way I’d love to be sinking my teeth into one!
    ~ingrid

  30. On September 02, 2009 at 11:59am, Jeannette said...

    absolutely beautiful brownies!!! i had the same issue with the brownie layer. thick gloppy and not nearly enough to swirl :)

  31. On September 02, 2009 at 4:59pm, Kat Cole said...

    Regarding the need for tasters of goodies: have you tried taking them to Mini SGCC’s school? I’m sure the teachers there would be a most appreciative audience. Second idea & one that is also great for teaching kids several different life lessons: how about taking the extra goodies/treats to a homeless shelter? The folks there probably don’t have a lot of sweetness in their difficult lives & this could be a bright spot for them.

    • On September 03, 2009 at 12:26pm, Susan said...

      Two very excellent ideas, Kat. Thanks! :)

  32. On September 02, 2009 at 9:00pm, pamela said...

    They look amazing!! I hope you find some willing takers! It would be a shame for them to go to waste!

  33. On September 02, 2009 at 10:19pm, Jen @ MaplenCornbread said...

    Gorgeous job!!!!!!!!!!! I love your thoughts on these, as mine are similar. I baked mine in a small pan so it was a bit thicker, I think thats perhaps why the brownies werent too dry but I do agree a little espresso added to them and then remove the sour cream topping.

  34. On September 02, 2009 at 10:47pm, Glenna said...

    Mmmmmm….yum! Those look too delicious not to be sinful!

  35. On September 03, 2009 at 7:50am, Angela {YourEverydayMama} said...

    Yours turned out way better than mine. I completely agree that the brownie layers was too thin, and ended being dry instead of gooey. My sour cream layer was nice, but whipped cream would have been pretty great too, and something more people are apt to want to eat!

  36. On September 03, 2009 at 9:22am, food librarian said...

    Yum! This is really pretty!!! I

  37. On September 03, 2009 at 12:54pm, Sam@BingeNYC said...

    These look so luscious…that espresso-cheesecake layer is just to die for! Yum.

  38. On September 05, 2009 at 2:07pm, Kevin said...

    You just can’t go wrong combining two great things like cheesecake and brownies! They look so good!

  39. On September 05, 2009 at 4:48pm, Margaret said...

    Those are beautiful. If I lived close. And I hadn’t just made them. I would take them off your hands.

  40. On September 05, 2009 at 11:32pm, AmyRuth said...

    Ha ha Susan, I have many willing college students as tasters. That works quite nicely for me….. ha ha ha. Lucky I guess. I don’t know if you have any of those types nearby. Your photos are lovely and yes, I agree the “icing” was never firm for me as well. I used the freezer for my chilling time in order to sort of speed up the process for delivery to those College students. They were good but for me its hard to beat an ooey gooey chocolaty brownie with walnuts. he he Love your blog.
    AmyRuth

  41. On September 05, 2009 at 11:35pm, Chaya said...

    I would be glad to take some of those brownies off your hands but I am sure they have been devoured. Brownie issue or not, these look perfect to me.

    I have such fun going through your recipes. Good choices.

  42. On September 08, 2009 at 6:28pm, Katrina said...

    Great, perfect looking brownies!

  43. On September 10, 2009 at 5:44pm, Nicole Spasiano said...

    These look fantastic. I think I will make them next week.

  44. On September 25, 2009 at 12:38am, MaryMoh said...

    I love cake with espresso. This one just looks perfect for me.

  45. On October 18, 2009 at 2:38pm, ThatsSoYummy said...

    Ok so this looks absolutely exquisite…. I’m drooling while staring at the photos.

    Soooo Yummy! :-)

  46. On October 22, 2009 at 12:33am, amber said...

    what i gather from the comments is that i c double the recipe for the same size pan and i skip the sour cream and add a little more coffee .Can’t wait to try them :OP

  47. On June 07, 2010 at 5:51pm, Magic of Spice said...

    These are a must have! They look absolutely delightful…

  48. On July 28, 2010 at 3:38am, Meghan said...

    Late post, naturally, but I saw these and on the spot I just KNEW I had to make them. I haven’t yet, of course, but you sure do know how to make a girl hungry.

  49. On March 16, 2011 at 3:15am, Mayajo said...

    These brownies are really tasty, just a look of it, with cheese on top so yummy!

  50. On October 03, 2011 at 5:06pm, Arunima Singh said...

    Hi,

    I am new to your blog and am having trouble finding recipes for some of these posts, like this one. Whenever you link the recipe to Dorie’s blog, could you please either link it directly to the recipe page or give an exact name of the recipe to find on her blog? I searched for “Espresso Cheesecake Brownies” on her blog with many different variations but no success! I have similarly searched for many other recipes that you say you have made from her website and have not been able to find them. Help!!

    Arunima

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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