I've been doing a bit of organizing around the house lately. My two latest "projects" have been to (1) clean out and reorganize my closet and (2) file/recycle my magazines. Since I'm a bit OCD, my most recent magazine issues are in one neat pile, but that pile has grown pretty tall in the last few months. I subscribe to about 10 magazines and I haven't organized that pile in about 4-5 months. I always keep certain magazines like Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated and Saveur, so they go straight to their respective magazine sleeves on my bookshelf. With the other magazines, I spend some time flipping through the issue again to decide if it's a keeper or for recycling.
If the entire issue is great, it's a keeper and I file it away neatly on my bookshelf. Sometimes I don't see anything worth keeping so I'll toss the issue in the recycling bin or give it to a friend or family member. And other times there will be one or two recipes worth saving like this brownie recipe from the June 2007 issue of Gourmet. I don't remember seeing it when I first got the magazine back in May. Or maybe I did see it and my memory just isn't as good as it used to be. Either way, it's on my radar now.
I love these brownies. I added some grated bittersweet chocolate to the brownie batter to increase the chocolate factor. For the cheesecake part, I used mascarpone instead of cream cheese so my version was a bit creamier and less tangy than the original. Like many brownie recipes, these are quick and easy to make. But the addition of the cheesecake batter swirled into the brownie batter really made these special.
Cheesecake Marbled Brownies
(adapted from Gourmet magazine, June 2007 issue)
For brownie batter
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated (or very finely chopped if you prefer)
For cheesecake batter
8 ounces mascarpone, well softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make brownie batter:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
Heat butter and unsweetened chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Whisk in flour and grated chocolate until just combined and spread in baking pan.
Make cheesecake batter and bake brownies:
Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.
Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
~.~ But wait, there's more...
If you want to use up the 1 egg white that's leftover from making the above cheesecake marbled brownies, try these super easy amaretti. I use unblanched (skin-on) almonds, but blanched almonds would be much more refined and very "tea with your pinky finger up".
(adapted from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2)
(makes 12 cookies)
3.5 ounces (100 grams) ground almonds
1/2 cup granulated or superfine sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
Preheat over to 350F.
Whisk together almonds, sugar and flour in a bowl to combine. Then mix in egg white and both extracts until well combined.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on a parchment line cookie sheet. Flatten the balls of dough slightly. (Note: I like my amaretti soft so I don't flatten the balls of dough too much. If you want the cookies to be less soft, flatten the balls more.)
Bake at 350F for 13-14 minutes or until lightly golden.