Anyway, this blog post is meant to be about the brownies, not me and my photography :)
So, after much deliberation, and a few coffee breaks and work with me and some colleagues flipping through the pages, I decided to try out the cream-cheese brownies. I was hosting a crafty night for some friends, and I though brownies would be perfect for everyone coming round, and they're finger food....right?
So after a rather manic day at work on Friday, I came home and set to baking straight away. Baking just takes me straight out of whatever else is going on, and I just relax and focus on the now. I stick the radio on (this time I was listening to Simon Mayo on Radio 2, doing the Bank Holiday drive time - so very grateful I wasn't stuck in traffic!) and starting working through the various steps.
A quick online brought up Eric's bakingmad website, with a link to the recipe, so I can share it with you all - http://www.bakingmad.com/cream-cheese-brownies-recipe/
I've only ever made brownie once before, and those were a strange mix too, the last time I made them was bacon brownies! My friends thought I was mad, but I really liked the sound of bacon with chocolate, and I think it did work, although there were some larger chunks of bacon that were a tad chewy and a bit strange....
Anyway, so that was my last attempt at brownies, and I was willing to try again, as the cream cheese combo with chocolate sounded too good to be true!
Mixing up the chocolate bit first was fine, I'm quite happy with melting chocolate and butter, and then mixing in all the ingredients. Although - I did mix a bit too much butter....when I opened my baking cupboard to get out the vanilla, I had a mini disaster, as a block of butter dropped out of the cupboard and straight into my bowl!! After scraping off most of the chocolate, I did have a bit of fun licking it clean :)
I wasn't sure if I had a big enough tin (I should have measured, but I do tend to wing these things, and anyway, I only have the tins that I have!) So I tipped the chocolate mix in, which did seem a bit runny, but I stuck with it as I knew it would cool while I prepared the next stage.
Making the cream cheese, I did use an cheaper own brand cream cheese, on reflection, I might use a slightly more expensive one next time and see if that's thicker) When I was scooping it out, I thought it felt a bit runny :/ As I mixed everything together, and then poured it over the top of the chocolate, it started to sink in, so again, my tin might not have been big enough (it was now full to the brim), but also, the cream cheese was runnier than Eric's pictures....
Still, post swirl, the basic raw mix looked pretty good. So into the oven for 30 mins, and a quick lick (erm, I mean clean) up of all the equipment. Have to say, the raw mix tasted divine, I know we're not meant to eat raw eggs, but the chocolate with the cream cheese...wow! I am not condoning this though, so please don't try it at home....
I left the brownie to bake for 20 mins, then covered over with foil for the last 10 mins, as recommended. The mix was still very liquidy at this point - but I remember that from the last time I made brownies.
A further 10 mins later, it was still very very liquidy, more than I was happy with, so after testing, baking, testing, and baking, I ended up giving it an extra 15 mins, and on reflection, this could have been longer still - however - I was running out of time!
I took the brownie out to cool, and as it was still wobbly, I placed it in the fridge for a while to try and encourage it to set. It seemed to be the cream cheese over the chocolate that wasn't setting for me.
Once the outside bit was set, I lifted it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack, but still with the paper below it, but when it came to slicing the brownie, the edges were fab, but the middle was faw more like a chocolate pudding than a brownie. I don't know if I needed to leave it for longer in the oven, or if it was the cream cheese and I should try another brand, or if there's something else I could use to thicken it up.
I will definitely be trying these again though, everyone loved them - considering they were for 12 people - and there were 5 of us at the crafty thing, I have 2 pieces left! So can't have been that bad! ;) I think I need to experiment a bit more to get the right consistency and final result though.