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Decadent Dark Chocolate and Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

January 5, 2012

Who doesn’t love a dense, moist, decadently dark, fudgey brownie? My tagline on this blog says “there is more to life than brownies….but not much!”

I think that chocolate cures just about anything! And yes, there is a reason that I am known as browniegirl……..and here it is! My signature dish Cheesecake Swirled Brownies – deliciously moist, heavy and fudgey. Delightful on their own straight out of the fridge….but best at room temperature a day or so after they have been baked. By this stage the texture has settled into darkly deliciously fudge like and moist. We love them as a dessert with a dollop of creme fraiche to cut through the richness and some fresh berries in season. But equally delicious with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream! Enjoy them however you choose to…..but do make these!

Cheesecake Swirled Chocolate Brownies


a decadently dark, rich, fudgey and dense chocolate brownie, swirled with cheesecake. What more could you want?

Original Recipe taken from “Cookies & Brownies” by Alice Medrich; Adapted by me!

Recipe type: dessert

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 16 squares (depending how you cut them)


Brownie Layer:

125 grams Lurpak unsalted butter, cut into pieces

150 grams 80% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

250 grams granulated white sugar

Fresh Vanilla Bean – split and seeds scraped out with the tip of a sharp knife

2,5ml pure vanilla extract

2 Jumbo Free Range eggs – at room temperature

90 grams Cake (or all purpose) Flour

2.5ml Salt

5ml Finely Grated Orange or Clementine Zest (optional)

Cream Cheese Layer:

250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese at room temperature

50ml Fresh Cream

70 grams granulated white sugar

2,5ml pure vanilla extract

1 Jumbo Free Range egg – at room temperature


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place the rack in the center of the oven.

Melt a little regular butter then brush base and sides and line a 23 x 23 cm square baking pan with 2 sheets of baking paper across the bottom and up all four sides of the pan. The paper needs to come above the edges of the pan as you will use it to lift the baked brownies out of the pan. Brush the paper as well. Set aside.

In a large glass bowl melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave – you can do this over simmering water but I prefer the micro method. It only takes 1 -2 minute at about 50% power. Remove from microwave, stir well then stir in the sugar and vanilla extract and seeds and the zest if using.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition.

Stir in the sifted flour and salt and beat, with the wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the bowl (about one minute).

Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter, cover with cling film and set aside.

Pour the remainder of the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Then in the bowl of your mixer or processor (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese & cream until smooth.

Add the sugar, vanilla and egg and blend until creamy and smooth.

Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer.

Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Then with a table knife or wooden skewer, swirl the two batters a little bit (without mixing them together) to make a marbled effect.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges are just beginning to turn golden.

Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool.

Once cool refrigerate the brownies (still in the pan covered with foil or cling film) for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.

Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the paper and transfer to a cutting board.

With a sharp hot dry knife, cut into 16 squares. It is a good idea to have a damp cloth handy to wipe your knife between cuts.

These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving if you want the fudginess! Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Delicious with a scoop of ice cream or creme fraiche, mascarpone and fresh berries in season – or just alone straight from the container 🙂

browniegirl Notes

Don’t use a mixer when you make brownies….you don’t want to incorporate any air into the batter which will not result in fudgy dense brownies

Don’t use any leavening agent in your brownie mixture

Don’t over bake – You want your brownies to be a little bit moist in the middle when you take them out of the oven

Do use the best quality ingredients that you can afford to buy. These days you can get a very good comparable local cream cheese called Lancewood Superior (South Africa) which I have started using.

Pegs come in very handy in my kitchen. Use them to peg the paper firmly into place onto the edges of the pan. Once the batter is in the pan you can remove the pegs but if you use wooden pegs you can put the pan into the oven with the pegs attached


browniegirl xx

This recipe was featured in Issue 13 of Crush! Online Magazine. If you are not already subscribed to this fabulous, classy food and wine magazine go on over and subscribe. It is free and is delivered monthly to your inbox!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 9:22 PM

    Fabulous! Perfectly fabulous! This is a meal in itself! I must try this recipe – with the touch of orange as well! Elegant, flavorful and, yes, dense and moist. Love it, Colleen!

    • January 5, 2012 9:26 PM

      Thank you so much Jamie, they really are utterly divine…Tyler asked for his own batch (just for him) for his birthday HAHA! Thanks so much for popping by and for the lovely comment. Hugs and love…Oh and if you come visit again when I am not so stressed/busy I shall bake them for you 🙂 xoxox

  2. January 5, 2012 9:39 PM

    Lovely pickles Colly – the brownies look so so good! Love the old Royal Albert-looking tea cup! Luv Mx

    • January 6, 2012 7:24 PM

      Thank you Michael. Really appreciate that. I bought the tea cup and saucer at a second hand shop. I loved it when I saw it!! xx

  3. January 5, 2012 10:15 PM

    This sounds like an absolutely perfect marriage. I recently made a flourless choc and vanilla cake with a similar sort of flavour profile. It made for decadent eating, as will your brownies, I’m certain 🙂

    • January 6, 2012 8:05 PM

      YUM Saaleha….my favourite kind of cake is the flourless chocolate one. Can imagine it must be wonderful together with vanilla. xx

  4. January 5, 2012 10:34 PM

    mmmmmm I want some of these now!!! Might have to go make some brownies 🙂

  5. January 5, 2012 11:11 PM

    Oh wow, these look absolutely divine! I think this will be my weekend project 😉

  6. January 6, 2012 7:39 AM

    Colly, please move next door to me! Your photo’s are amazing 🙂

  7. January 6, 2012 8:35 AM

    Please move next door to me too. I want to have tea with you in those tea cups ever day. I have been looking for a set like this that doesn’t cost more than my rent.

    Thanks for sharing your signature dish with us. ♥

  8. January 6, 2012 1:18 PM

    Beautifully photographed Colleen and what a treasure that you shared your signature dish with us – awesome!
    🙂 Mandy

  9. michelle permalink
    January 6, 2012 6:26 PM

    Sounds divine! Definately going to try this sometime soon xxx

  10. January 6, 2012 11:23 PM

    These sound more than stunning, O Captain, my Captain! xxx

  11. January 11, 2012 4:41 AM

    What a wonderful dish to be known for 🙂 These look sooooo good!! These delicious brownies certainly look like they could cure anything 😉

  12. January 11, 2012 10:24 PM

    YUM! But, Colleen, why couldn’t you have posted this prior to my post-festive season detox!!??

  13. January 12, 2012 12:21 AM

    Colleen, colleen… what are you doing to me?? I’m salivating here just looking at that photo and I’m supposed to be on a diet you know? O let’s not call it a diet as I hate that word, but I’m trying to get healthier! (sounds better doesn’t it?) and these brownies… well I will have to save those for another day!

  14. January 12, 2012 12:50 PM

    Now these make for an excellent start to 2012, have a healthy, happy one. Thank you.x

  15. January 13, 2012 3:39 PM

    Just discovered your blog via Jamie at Life’s A Feast, and what a post to land on. These look deliciously divine – I love any kind of brownie but with a cheesecake swirl? Heaven.

  16. January 18, 2012 7:00 PM

    Oh my dear, these look absolutely amazing!! They are fat-free right, Collen? 😉
    I am so glad we’ve become “friends”! I so look forward to getting to know you better!! Hugs!

  17. January 23, 2012 4:41 PM

    I just noticed that we are of the same mind set…I made a version of my own cheesecake brownies this weekend that I just wrote about! We will have to compare notes. The brownie part of the recipe comes from my aunt and my childhood memories. Yours look amazing as well.

  18. January 24, 2012 5:55 AM

    I love how fudgy and gooey the brownie AND cheesecake is. So lovely and decadent!

  19. April 14, 2012 7:02 AM

    I’ve never made my own brownies from scratch. (Blame Betty Crocker!) I think these ones have enticed me away from the dark side! 🙂

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