Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

adapted from "Baking: From My Home toYours" By Dorie Greenspan


For the Brownies:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 F, with a rack in the center. Butter a 9" square baking pan placed on a baking sheet and set aside.


Whisk together the first three ingredients. Put the butter and chocolate over a double boiler with water simmering. Stir until the ingredients melt, but don't overheat so that the butter separates. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside.


Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture with a whisk, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg, then beat in the vanilla. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients until they disappear. Set aside.


For the Cheesecake:


1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon all purpose flour


Allow the espresso to cool to tepid. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese on medium until it's completely smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and espresso before adding the eggs one at a time. Beat for 1 minute after each egg, then reduce the speed to low and add the sour cream, then the flour. The batter should be smooth.


Pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth it out, then pour the cheesecake layer over the top, taking care to make it even. Place spoonfuls of the rest of the brownie batter on top, and use a knife to swirl the dark and light batters together. Be careful, however, not to plunge the knife into the base brownie layer. Swirl only as much as necessary.


Bake for around 30 minutes. The brownies should come away from the sides of the pan. The cheesecake will puff and turn lightly browned around the edges. Transfer the pan to a wrack to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.


For the Topping:


1 1/4 cups sour cream

1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Warm the sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. You need to stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the chilled brownies, then return them to the refrigerator and chill for at least another hour. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

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