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TWD: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

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 [1] 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 [2], and she has very good taste!    

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.

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 [3] site.  And, if you’d like to try them out for yourself, the recipe can be found on Melissa’s site [4].  Now, I’ve got to go and find some more willing victims to take some of these brownies off my hands! 😉