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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Cream Cheese Brownie Pie

   I posted a brownie recipe recently - the best brownie recipe ever, ever, ever - and I said that I've never managed to make a brownie in a pan because it never cooks properly. This is the one exception, and it's, admittedly, not a typical brownie. It's sort of a brownie pie. There's little flour and there's cream cheese instead of butters or oils, and there's a chocolate cream cheese frosting. It's lovely, especially when topped with chocolates. I admit it's rich, but I made this for my 5th anniversary with Seeg, and everyone has to make an exception sometimes.

   Rather than cocoa powder, this recipe actually uses chocolate. I used Galaxy milk chocolate because Seeg doesn't like dark, but by using dark chocolate instead you can make it a little healthier. Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa and flavonoid content than milk chocolate (and certainly more than white) which actually gives the chocolate nutritional benefits that other chocolate doesn't have. The higher the cocoa content the better, and studies have shown that about 35g of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, can be beneficial for your health when compared to not having it at all. 



Ingredients:
Cream Cheese Mixture
1/2 cup chocolate (chips or pieces)
1 egg
100g soft cream cheese
1/5 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour

Brownie Mixture
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate (chips or pieces)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup chocolate (chips or pieces)
25g soft cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
Optional: chocolates to decorate


Method:
For the cream cheese mixture:
1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (pan of water on a stove top with a heat-proof bowl with the chocolate on top). Stir the chocolate to encourage it to melt, this will also reduce the time and heat needed so the chocolate won't burn.
2. Remove the chocolate from the heat as soon as it's melted, then add the egg, cream cheese, sugar and flour and mix together until smooth.

For the brownie mixture:
3. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180 C/350 F.
4. In another heat-proof bowl, melt the coconut oil in the same manner as the chocolate before, then remove from heat and mix the cocoa powder until smooth.
5. Add the eggs, sugar and salt and mix well.
6. Add the cream cheese mixture to the brownie mixture and combine fully.
7. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips/chunks.
8. Line an 8x8 cake tin with foil and grease with more coconut oil (a smaller pan will give fewer but thicker brownies), and pour the mixture into the foil. Set in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.

For the icing (when the brownies have cooled):
10. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (save yourself the washing-up and use the bowl from the cream cheese mixture) over a double boiler.
11. Once melted, remove from the heat and mix in the cream cheese, blending it together until smooth, and then gradually add in the icing sugar. Once it's all combined, add the milk to give it a spreadable consistancy. If needed, add a little more milk.
12. Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies and add your chocolates. Leave to set before cutting the brownies.






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