On sunny days, I am very easily distracted from my work. At the moment with my important essays going on, I have to keep going despite the sunshine.
To console myself, I made brownies. Not just normal brownies - but cheesecake brownies.
Today, when I found my mind wandering to the long rectangles of sunlight warming the carpet in front of me, I decided to put the sunshine to good use. So I warmed my brownie on the sun-soaked windowsill, then curled up on the sofa again with my book.
This is not baking for the fainthearted. There's lots of chocolate and butter, then plenty of sugar and eggs, then more chocolate in the form of cocoa powder with flour, then chunks of chocolate, then lots of cream cheese mixed with more sugar and eggs and... it's quite a marathon.
I think it's important to use dark chocolate for these, at least 70%, otherwise they would be too sweet.
Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
(Very lightly adapted from David Lebovitz, here)
For the brownie batter:
115g dark chocolate
130g caster sugar
2 large eggs
70g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
85g dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a tin (I used 11" x 7", you could also use a 9" square pan) with foil, creating a lip over the sides. Grease lightly. Melt the butter and chocolate over a low heat in a saucepan. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and beat in the sugar and then the eggs. Beat in the flour, cocoa and salt, followed by the vanilla and chopped chocolate. Spoon into the tin and spread out evenly.
For the cheesecake swirl:
200g cream cheese, at r.t.
1 large egg yolk
50g caster sugar
few drops vanilla essence
Beat together all the ingredients until smooth. Divide loosely into eight and spoon these on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Use a blunt knife to swirl in. Put into the oven for about 30-5 minutes, until just set in the middle of the pan. Leave to cool, then cut into small squares and enjoy.