Since I personally don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I’ve held off on making brownies. But a special occasion crowd requested them, so I turned to Rachel Allen whose recipes always work.
I’ve made them GF, scaled up for a larger tin, and added a hint of coffee, chilli, & spices for a more grown-up brownie, and to modulate the sweetness. The chunkiness of the chocolate makes these quite moreish.
Makes: 30+ depending on size
For the chocolate mix:
- 2 tsp instant coffee granules + 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 1 & 1/2″ – 2″ of a red chilli, deseeded, and very finely chopped
- 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes; plus additional to grease tin
- 340g dark baking chocolate, chopped roughly (anything over 50% cocoa solids)
- 215g golden caster sugar (white will suffice)
- 5 large eggs, beaten (they should be 62-68g each when weighed in the shell)
- 140g self-raising gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or mace
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cream cheese mix:
- 340g full-fat soft (i.e., cream) cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten (they should be 62-65g each when weighed in the shell)
- 120g golden caster sugar (white will suffice)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- A 9x12″ / 23x30cm standard traybake tin
- Baking/parchment paper
- A chopping board and sharp knife
- A teacup or mug for the coffee and chilli
- A large, heavy-bottomed saucepan
- A sieve
- A spatula
- 1 medium or large mixing bowl, plus a small bowl for beaten eggs
- A wooden spoon
- A manual whisk (optional)
- Cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Very lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tin and line fully with paper.
- Dissolve the coffee in boiling water and add the chopped chilli.
- Melt the butter with half the chocolate (170g) in a large pot on the hob over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat, and beat in the coffee/chilli and the sugar. Once it’s cooled slightly, beat in the eggs vigourously to avoid scrambling.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa, and spices; add the remaining chopped chocolate; and mix until fully combined. Scrape into your prepared tin.
- Beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl (you might find a whisk helps with small lumps).
- Pour the cream cheese mix evenly over the tin, and use the handle of your wooden spoon (or, a butter knife or a blunt skewer) to swirl it in. Ensure you go all the way to the sides of the tin (otherwise the corners end up all cheesecakey), but don’t drag too harshly across the bottom as you might tear the paper.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking. When the middle is only slightly wobbly when you jiggle the tin, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out not-quite clean, remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Let fully cool before turning out, and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
You could sprinkle some more chopped or grated chocolate, chocolate chips (white, milk, or dark), or even cocoa nibs over the top. I’d do this when just out of the oven, so they can melt slightly and stick to the top.
I probably swirled the cheesecake mix in a bit too strongly. I was put off by Rachel’s picture which shows great lakes of white in the final brownies – I didn’t want anyone to end up with a slice that didn’t have very much chocolate mix in it. When I make these again, I’ll swirl a little less energetically, to try for a happy medium between the two. (That having been said, all the tasters thought these were fab as-is.)