Thursday, January 2, 2014

ABC - Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all good health and good food in 2014 :o)

I just realized that we're starting our 5th (yes, FIFTH!!!) year of ABC baking! Wow, time flies. But I couldn't have done it without you! A big Thank You to all the ABC members for baking their hearts out every month.

Is there a better way to kick off a new year of ABC baking, than to bake with chocolate? Add some cream cheese to the mix and you have a recipe for a decadent dessert! I love brownies and I love cheesecake. When I saw the recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies in the King Arthur Flour catalog a little while back, I knew I had to put them in the ABC list. So, here we are...

Mocha Cheesecake Brownies

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

The brownie batter was a breeze to make. It all fit in one saucepan. In a way, I felt like I was "making chocolate" when I melted butter, and added cocoa powder and sugar :o)

"One-pan" brownie batter

Speaking of sugar, the amount seemed really high, so I reduced it a bit. I also skipped the chocolate chips as I figured that the cocoa powder would give it enough of a chocolate punch.

As for the cheesecake portion, I was torn. I feared it would be too plain/bland without any additional flavoring, so I added some espresso to it (espresso powder plus a little boiling water), and turned it into a Mocha Cheesecake layer. My other concern was the amount of flour in the cheesecake layer which seemed rather high. I feared the cheesecake layer would be more "cakey" and less creamy. After reading through the reviews, everyone raved about this recipe, I forged ahead (in hindsight, I should have listened to that inner voice).

These brownies are extremely rich, so I cut them into 6x8 = 48 pieces. I took these to a potluck at work and they fed a large crowd, which was perfect. And, everyone loved them!!!

Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • My husband and I shared a piece a couple hours after they came out of the oven (I didn't want to have too many pieces missing, given that I was them to a potluck). He liked it but said it could use more sugar. I don't recall his rating (oops! I made these 2-3 weeks ago).
  • I personally didn't miss the sugar I took out. I thought it made the chocolate flavor shine through better. The mocha flavor in the cheesecake layer was really nice (even though I'm not a coffee drinker at all). In hindsight, I would eliminated, or reduced the flour to 1-2 Tbsp because it didn't feel very "creamy" to me. I was expecting something along the lines of a Brownie Latte Cheesecake I have made in the past, and this was not it. All in all, a really nice brownie recipe, that's really rich and will satisfy anyone's chocolate craving. And it feeds a crowd!
  • My changes to the BROWNIE layer: reduced the sugar by 25% (totaling 11-3/4 oz), omitted the espresso powder, omitted the chocolate chips.
  • My changes to the CHEESECAKE layer: added a pinch of salt, add 2-1/2 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp of boiling water.
  • I baked the brownies in a 325 F oven for about 58-60 min, after looking up other recipes for cheesecake brownies (most seemed to recommend a longer baking time at a lower temperature).
  • You can find the recipe here.
  • Don't forget to check out what the other ABC bakers thought of this recipe!


  1. Some good notes you made here. So how did YOU like them? Would you make them again?

  2. I ate 3.5 pieces. Does that answer your question? :) I'd make them again but I'd definitely omit/heavily reduce the flour in the cheesecake layer. The mocha was a nice touch. Mashed raspberries in the cheesecake would be nice too.

  3. Happy New Year Hanaâ! Yes they were rich weren't they. Less sugar is a good thing. Love your swirl effect on top, very pretty.

  4. Your brownies look wonderful! I like your idea of adding flavour to the cheesecake portion so it holds its own against the chocolate.

  5. hello Hanna your chocolate brownies cheesecake look very delicious and I like you swirl!!! p.s. I had some of mine after it cooled off and it was very moist and delicious...

  6. Hi and a very happy new year to you. Congrats on the ABC turning 5!! Your brownies look lovely. I love the thought of adding raspberries.

  7. These brownies look just fabulous, Hanaa! Great way to start the 2014 Baking Year!

  8. I love the look of these brownies, sounds delicious with your variation…Happy New Year!

  9. Just a thought Hanaa....could we make some savory recipes? It's difficult making all these lovely sweet things with a diabetic husband. Too tempting for him !!

  10. your marbling is beautiful - just added my first link :)


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