Like most guys, probably, the author appreciates chocolate, but doesn’t quite understand why there’s so much fuss. That was the position, at least, until yesterday afternoon, when it was time to prepare this weekend’s recipe. One of the requisite ingredients was a bar of chocolate. Godiva inspired the imagination, especially as it has such a good reputation. Many, in fact, seem to go crazy over it, so why not?
This journal certainly isn’t in the business of endorsing specific brands. Not, that is, until a Godiva milk chocolate bar, pictured below, changed history.
Does Godiva lace these things with opium? It’s the only explanation that fits, as never…never has a chocolate been so creamy, so silky, and produced such warm contentment. Honestly, in that kitchen yesterday, the rest of the world melted away for five minutes. Or was it five hours?
Just wait until you try the brownies it creates! Particularly when it’s marbled with an equally creamy cheesecake batter and is baked into a beautifully smooth and lustrous brownies. It’s a treat only the late, deeply lamented Gourmet could have invented, and the magazine featured the recipe in its 2009 Everyday Meals recipe collection. Nothing “everyday” about these brownies, though, that’s for sure.
The two elements, the brownie and the cheesecake, contribute creaminess, but each leads taste in its own direction. Brownies reinforce the chocolate’s luster with a richness that wraps the palate in ever-warmer silkiness. Meanwhile, the cheesecake adds hints of tartness to the mix, a contrast that makes the smoothness all the more satisfying.
Unexpected star billing goes to the brownie, though. Chocolate’s always been good, but not this good. It took all this time to vault it beyond general anomnymity? It’s possible this could be a stroke, or a psychotic break, but what a delicious affliction, no? Try these for yourself and see.
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 ounces chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup flour
For the cheesecake:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put an oven rack the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
Place a large saucepan over a medium-low flame, and place the chocolate and the butter in the pan, stirring occasionally. When just melted, remove from the flame and whisk in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the flour until just combined and pour the batter into the baking pan.
Meanwhile, create the cheesecake batter by combining all the cheesecake ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Dollop the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter, then drag a spatula back-and-forth broadly across the entire top, creating the “marbling” effect. Bake until the center is just set, about 35 minutes. (*1) Cool on a rack, then serve either warm, or at room temperature.
1 – This wasn’t quite enough time, as 35 minutes left the center a bit soupy. Keep an eye on the brownies to ensure they don’t burn, but you probably will find 40 minutes works better.