Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

This dessert contains our family's favorite baking ingredients: dark chocolate, cream cheese, and Nutella. This brownie is insanely fudgy--perfect with a scoop of Waitrose Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The best part is it's fast and fool-proof!

Valentine’s Day is a fine excuse to momentarily forget our ever so fragile resolutions to eat better and exercise more, and indulge in decadent dishes without a smidgen of guilt.

On February 14th, it’s going to be an all day gastronomic feast for us at home, starting with a bowl of sinful seafood pasta.

For dinner, it’s always a good idea to go with a his/hers type of meal. Why? You both get to eat your favourite food with your favourite person in the world, and that’s two of the best things in life.

As you can tell, I can’t get enough of seafood. It’s no surprise that my ideal V-day dinner is salmon and vichyssoise. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name—it’s basically potato and leek soup. I like mine velvety smooth, served cool, with a touch of crème fraiche. I love salmon because it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and eat, and exceptionally delicious food prepared in 5 minutes is a beautiful miracle that I am willing to share to frenzied working moms all over the world. Salmon is perfect with a zippy lemon truffle cream sauce that you can prepare in a breeze. I am not kidding you.

For my partner-in-crime, it’s steak and greens. He has recently joined the paleo craze and has asked me in the nicest caveman voice he could muster to create a side dish that would approximate the creamy, carby satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes. I suggested bone marrow. Mr. Flintstone raised his club in approval.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Cream cheese mixture

Ingredients

½ block cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 Bounty Fresh Egg with Vitamin E
1 teaspoon McCormick Vanilla Extract

Brownies (Original recipe by Scharffen Berger co-founder Robert Steinberg. I tweaked it by adding cream cheese and Nutella).

Ingredients

½ cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate chips or chopped Casino dark chocolate bar
6 tablespoons Magnolia Gold butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon McCormick Vanilla Extract
1 Bounty Fresh Egg with Vitamin E, cold
2 tablespoons White King All-Purpose Flour
½ cup Nutella or ½ cup Felchlin gianduja, diced
Cream cheese mixture

Procedure

BEFORE BAKING: Assemble and measure your ingredients. Line a square pan with foil. Brush the foil with butter. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1.    Using a handheld electric mixer, beat ½ block cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and even. Set aside.
2.    Melt the butter with the chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl over a double boiler. Stir vigorously. Alternatively, you can gently melt butter in the microwave, and stir in dark chocolate chips until melted.
3.    While the melted chocolate is fairly hot, stir in the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add 1 egg, mix until evenly incorporated. Add the flour. Mix vigorously with all your might using a wooden spoon or spatula. The batter should look glossy and should pull itself from the side of the bowl.
4.    Spread half the batter in the pan. Add Nutella swirls or Felchlin gianduja chunks.  Add cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining batter on top. Bake uncovered for 12.5 minutes. Take out of the oven and rotate the pan so the brownies will bake evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 12.5 minutes. Remove from oven. Insert a toothpick to check doneness. If toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready. If the batter is still wet, return to the oven and bake for 2-5 minutes.

AFTER BAKING: Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate minimum 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate overnight for best results.
Tags: february 2014, brownies, dessert, baking
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