Monday, November 26, 2012

Cheesecake Brownies

When I worked at Cafe Novo is when I learnt to bake.  At least once a week we would make a half pan of cheesecake brownies--usually more often than that.  These bad boys flew out of the kitchen so quickly you'd think they were addictive... and well, maybe they are.

Since leaving I've managed to find myself a boyfriend who could live off brownies, steak, and salad (I like men who like their veggies).  I've had a lot of brownie baking practice.  So much, in fact, that penning a recipe for Sierra Trading Post's holiday recipe contest was a little difficult--it was like writing down how to put on jeans in the morning.

 Well, luckily I eventually managed to put pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard..) and wrote up my recipe.  Being the genius I am, I forgot to mention I use a teaspoon of baking powder (not that forgetting it will ruin the brownies).

It turned out though, it didn't matter.  I won the vote for best dessert! (Very luckily, since I actually didn't even know there was a voting period or I definitely would have coerced some friends to vote for me... I am not above that.)  As a price I received a $250 gift certificate to sierra trading post (just in time for cyber monday) and a feature in their Holiday Recipe Book.

So here it is friends, my cheesecake brownies recipe:

Cheesecake Batter: 
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar 1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brownie Batter: 
3-5 oz good quality (60% to 90%) dark chocolate
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350*F.  Grease or line an 8 or 9 inch square pan.

Cheesecake Batter: 

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together. Put aside.

Brownie Batter: 

In a pan over low heat or in a double boiler (preferred) melt the butter. Melt the chocolate into the butter, stirring. Remove from heat the moment (or just before) the chocolate is fully melted.

 Add the sugar and stir until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

 Add the cocoa powder and salt, mix in until batter is smooth (works best if you sift in the cocoa powder). Mix in the flour until well incorporated.

Pour your brownie batter into your pan. Dollop cheesecake batter in. With a knife, drag back and forth through the batter to create a marbling effect. (Tight zigzags work best).

 Pop in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The cheesecake should be just golden and the edges should pull slightly from the side of the pan.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Bruchetta is wonderfully easy and absolutely delicious.  This thanksgiving my boyfriend Mark and I went to Seattle to visit his parents.  Mark made us some delicious bruchetta as an appetizer and I decided to "help" by taking photos.

Mark cut up some cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, fresh basil, and cilantro and then drizzled EVOO and balsamic vinegar overtop.

He mixed it together  and let it refrigerate for a few hours so the flavours could meld.  

Right before serving he chopped up some avocado and tossed once more, and then served with some sourdough crostini.  Absolutely delicious.