For St. Patrick' Day, I made this Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting from Closet Cooking. The cake itself was deep dark deliciousness, but the Bailey's cream cheese frosting was the real star. And since I now happen to have a bottle of Bailey's floating around my kitchen just begging to be used, I incorporated this same Bailey's/cream cheese combo into a swirly brownie recipe. For the brownie base, I tried the much drooled-over Baked Brownie recipe from the fantastic Baked cookbook (thus spake Oprah). I've never tried it on its own, but in this incarnation it yielded a dense, very chocolatey, slightly fudgy brownie that was a perfect foil for the creamy cheesecake swirl.
The Irish cream flavor in this brownie is not shy (though my 3/4 cup may have been a rather generous 3/4 cup). Neither is the chocolateness. It is rich without being cloyingly sweet and it is dense without being irreproachably heavy. In short, I spent the rest of the week carving out little scoops of this brownie every, oh, two hours or so. Forget the ice cream. Forget the whipped cream. Forget the fancy glaze. This brownie was eaten straight from the pan.
Baked Brownie with an Irish Swirl
(adapted from the Baked cookbook)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder (Valrhona!)
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Two 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 lg eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
To make the cheesecake swirl: In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese until no lumps remain. Add the sugar and liqueur and blend until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and eggs, mixing until well combined.
Fill the pan about 2/3 full with the brownie batter. Spoon the cheesecake swirl on top of the batter in the pan. Dollop the rest of the brownie batter on top until the pan is nearly full, then use a knife to swirl the brownie batter into the cheesecake layer. (NOTE: There will most likely be leftover batter. No one will judge you if you make mini brownie cupcakes and stash them in your desk for handy munching)
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is set and the edges are puffy. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.