Tuesdays w/Dorie: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

September 1, 2009

Last week I was uncharacteristically creative with the lime cream in meringue shells. I hope that creativity strikes again soon, but this week I just wanted to get some chocolate into my body. One night I thought I’d make these brownies after dinner but then looked at the recipe and was distressed by the time it would take to mix, bake, and chill them. I ended up eating a chunk of Trader Joe’s chocolate with some peanut butter on it, followed by a chaser of chocolate chips. It’s not usually this bad, but sometimes it just is.

The next day, with a clear head and some midday free time, I made the brownies.


I should mention that this is a recipe made for Tuesdays with Dorie and it was selected by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell. Thanks Melissa! Check her blog to take a peek at the recipe; she’ll have it posted today.

What I did:

  • I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a 6″ round pan. The pan was a little small for half the amount, but it was the closest I had.
  • I used low-fat cream cheese (neufachel).
  • I used Guittard 72% chocolate.
  • I skipped the sour cream topping. This was so pretty and swirly that I didn’t want to cover it with topping!

How it went: Both parts (brownie and cheesecake) went together pretty quickly. I melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave instead of over a double-boiler and it worked out fine. Even the swirling went fine. I’m glad I waited until I had a clear head to make this! Here it is ready to bake.


How it tasted: I thought it was just OK. I liked the flavor of the cheesecake, but the brownie just didn’t have enough chocolate oomph. The brownie part was dry, which may have been due to overbaking. The cheesecake seemed to be the right consistency, but I may have thrown off the baking time by using a too-small pan. My husband liked it but also thought the chocolate flavor didn’t come through. His nutshell review was “good concept; needs tweaks.” But that’s the over-critical analysis; it was tasty and we were more than happy to eat it! And it looks so cool!

When we made the Brownie Buttons, Nancy asked if I’ve tried the Baked brownies or the Sharffen Berger Essence of Chocolate brownies. I haven’t and now I want to! There are a lot of brownie recipes out there and even though I have a go-to recipe, I’d like to have more in my repertoire. But no, I’m not going to start a separate blog about brownies. That’s been done, and Megan does it better than I could do it.

Would I make this again?: While I liked the brownie and cheesecake combination, I will have to continue my brownie quest. When I have more brownies under my belt (literally and figuratively), I’d like to come back to this and make it with a different brownie.

Fellow TWD members: I’m offline right now, so I won’t get around to look at your brownies this week. I will try to catch up when I’m back at it!


  1. Ciao ! I had the same problem but I liked them anyway !!! Nice idea the round pan !

  2. Your cheesecake layer looks nice and thick–maybe because of the size of pan you used. I like that.

  3. I like your swirling – I couldn’t find the nerve to pull that off so left it off! That was a great idea re: the 6″ pan…. seems like mine are usually left in the cabinet and it seems that they would be very handy to use for 1/2-ing recipes!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. My sentiments are exactly like yours. On to next week!

  5. what gorgeous swirls! i failed at swirl-making:( i love your description of chocolate desperation–i’ve taken to eating huge handfuls of chocolate chips. not good:)

  6. Your brownies look amazing! I loved these, but found them to be better at room temperature than cold!

  7. MMmmm nice swirl… and it stayed on top! Mine sunk… I need lessons, are you available? LOL

    Bravo! Very well done!

  8. I’m so glad it wasn’t just me that wasn’t head-over-heels with this. I really like what you did with the swirls – it looks like a marble cheesecake!

  9. Pretty swirls! I haven’t heard any raves about the brownie part of this yet. I loved these anyway, and will make them again (possibly with a different brownie). Yours look fabulous!

  10. Your swirls are gorgeous. Great job.

  11. I love the swirls. I also like the little wedges. Perfect.

  12. Your swirls are the best I’ve seen yet! I agree that the brownie part was a little lacking, so I’d definitely try another brownie recipe next time too. Glad you enjoyed them though!

  13. I’m sorry your didn’t love them. They still look gorgeous! Great job!

  14. I thought the brownie part was dry and not chocolaty enough, too. But the swirl sure does look nice!
    Have a great week!

  15. I like the use of the round pan, so pretty. Your swirling is amazing. My chocolate immediately sank to the bottom, I tried to take a guess where it might be and swirled a bit, but nothing. No swirls at all. Happy to hear you liked part of it anyway…a lot of work not to like it at all I always think! Very pretty.

  16. Beautiful swirls, Jill! At least you read the recipe thoroughly before beginning a long project, I’ve been guilty of not reading all the chilling steps (like last week). I agree with Nancy, try the Baked brownies. I haven’t tried the Scharffen Berger ones, but now I want to!

  17. Those look great. Pretty swirls.

    I want to use the brownie as a bottom in my reg cheese cake.

    Also used my springform, and that worked great.

  18. It looks fabulous Jill, even if you were not happy with the consistency. A lot of people had the same coment as you – I think I tasted the cheesecake so much more than the brownie (wilful blindness??), hence I loved them.

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