I have a new time-wasting website in my life. It is called Pinterest, and you can use it to post photos from anywhere on the web into visual pinboards for inspiration purposes. There are lots of photos of celebrities, cute animals, dresses, vacation spots, interior design, and, as you might expect, food.
When I saw these red velvet chocolate brownies, I knew I had to make them. And with Valentine’s Day coming up, I had a perfect excuse.
I made a few changes to the recipe. I baked it directly in a pan I sprayed with spray oil. I tried to get the aluminum foil to line my pan, but all I succeeded in doing was ripping the foil and getting annoyed.
I also didn’t have the amount of red food coloring the recipe called for. I went to the store looking for some, but guess what food color grocery stores will tend to be out of the week before Valentine’s Day? I had about a teaspoon in my cupboard, so these brownies are a very dark red, instead of being bright red.
I also wasn’t sure about the “dark chocolate” listed. In my experience, recipes usually say unsweetened, bittersweet, or semi-sweet when talking about baking chocolate. So I used Ghiradelli’s 60% Dark Chocolate, from the eating chocolate aisle, not the baking aisle.
I think I did a pretty lame job of mixing the cheesecake batter into the brownie batter, so mine did not turn out as nicely swirled as the Pinterest photo. I also think I took them out of the pan too early. I think next time I might let them cool and then refrigerate them before cutting them.
I loved this idea and I liked this recipe a lot. The brownie is more cakey than fudgey, and I prefer fudgier brownies, but I think it goes better with the swirl this way. I think I might add some lemon zest or oil to the cheesecake part next time.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
From Baking Bites
1 stick unsalted butter
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir with a heatproof silicon spatula until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 16 large brownies or 24 smaller brownies