“Dare to be different,” my mom always said. This weekend, I took her dare to a new place–in the kitchen.
As a big fan of peanut butter and chocolate, I thought that would be a delicious cheesecake brownie swirl. In fact, that still sounds fab and I’ll revisit the idea at some point. But back to my mom. She is not in the “two great tastes that taste great together” camp that is chocolate and peanut butter. And, as this dessert was to be part of her Mother’s Day dinner, I had to go in a direction I hadn’t seen previously for brownies swirled with cheesecake: key lime.
If you’ve ever been to Key West and had frozen key lime pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate, you understand. Or if you’ve ever had a key lime truffle dipped in dark chocolate, you’re there with me, too. As I boldly went where no one I knew had gone before, I decided to try Nick Malgieri’s “Supernatural” brownies as my base. My friend Susan considers them the gold standard in brownie baking, so I abandoned my usual Ghirardelli recipe (which I still love!) and set forth to make something magical.
Mr. Malgieri’s recipe requires buttering the pan, then lining the pan with buttered parchment. I didn’t do that. Here’s what I did.
“SUPERNATURAL” KEY LIME CHEESECAKE SWIRL BROWNIES
adapted from Nick Malgieri’s “Supernatural” Brownies
1 stick salted butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chopped into small chunks
½ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE BATTER
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup key lime juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan with butter and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for about a minute until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, vanilla and key lime juice, beat till smooth. Beat in egg till well incorporated. Set aside.
Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on the defrost setting for 30 seconds. Stir and heat for 30 more seconds. If not completely melted, 30 more seconds should do the trick.
Using your stand mixer, whisk together eggs. Add sugars, vanilla and salt; whisk to combine. Stir in melted chocolate and butter; fold in flour. Pour into buttered pan, reserving 1/2 cup of batter. Pour cheesecake mixture over brownie batter. Spoon the remaining brownie batter in large dollops over the cheesecake mixture. Use a butter knife to swirl the batters and create a marbled effect.
Bake till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Set on a rack to cool.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, JANEY!
Thanks for encouraging me–for as long as I can remember–to do my own thing! And for always believing in me, whatever my endeavor. Here’s hoping every mom who’s reading along had a wonderful day, too!