I’m in the midst of a big magazine purge and my latest victim is a stack of Eating Wells from 2004. Turn, turn, read, turn, read, rip, read, rip. I’ve been doing this during dinner while we eat. Nobody cares. Anyway, last night I came across this recipe and ripped it out immediately. There’s no shortage of swirled cheesecake brownies recipes, but this one was so elegantly lightened, with the use of Neufchatel cheese in place of regular, whole wheat pastry flour in place of white, and creative appropriations of egg whites. I had to make these immediately.
Swirled Cheesecake Brownies Pan Size
The original recipe calls for a 7x11 inch pan, but I don’t even think I own a 7x11 inch pan so I used a 9 inch square. And since I liked the brownies so much, I made a second batch, halving the recipe and using a 9x5 inch loaf pan. So if you only have 4 oz of cream cheese in the house, you can do that. Another thing I learned was that the chocolate batter tends to rise up and over the white batter, so it's best to put almost all the batter in the pan (rather than half, as the recipe states) and just save enough regular chocolate batter to dot over the cream cheese.
These were really good and don’t taste at all healthy save for the tiny bit of graininess you get from the whole wheat pastry flour. I kind of liked that, though.
Here's the original version and below is how I made it.
Whole Wheat Swirled Cheesecake Brownies
Cream Cheese Layer
- 4 oz Neufchatel, softened or ⅓ Less Fat Philly Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (84 grams)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar (250 grams)
- ¼ cup extra light olive oil or canola
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 11x7 inch or a 9 inch square metal pan with non-stick foil or line with regular foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar (or sweetener), egg, flour, yogurt and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mix the whole-wheat flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, egg whites and brown sugar until smooth. Add oil, coffee and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir or beat just until well blended, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
- Scrape all but about 3 tablespoons of brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the topping as evenly as you can over the top. Drop the reserved brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the tip of a sharp knife or skewer through the two batters to create a swirled effect (I just skipped this because I wanted more white to show).
- Bake the brownies until the top is just firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes (mine took 25). Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Chill thoroughly. Lift from pan and cut into 16 squares.