Here’s an indulgence inspired by a recipe in the November/ December 2021 issue of Bake From Scratch. Take a look at this one. I dared myself to accept the challenge, seeing the picture in my mind. Think about this combo:
• “Red Velvet” is an attractive way to present a chocolate cake. You can achieve this redness by mixing cocoa powder, vinegar and buttermilk. But here, we add red liquid food coloring to the brownie batter.
• Cream cheese, sugar, flour and eggs make a smooth and luscious cheesecake.
• And brownies are the fudgy extravagance that match no other baked chocolate.

Picture all of this in your mouth at once. Quite overwhelming, really.

An amount of pacing and prep are involved in this recipe’s execution. Set out your eggs and cream cheese to get to room temperature. Chop the chocolate and cube the butter in a readied double-boiler bowl. Weigh and mix the sugars. Weigh and sift the flour, cocoa and salt.

The brownie batter and then the cheesecake batter are mixed by hand. Two-and-a-half cups of sugar in the brownie batter is a lot.

Double-boil the chocolate and butter into a silky, smooth combination. This buttery melted chocolate is blended with the sugars and the eggs and the vanilla and the red coloring and the flour, “just until combined.” This means the brownie batter is a bit grainy, as we would expect. The color of the brownie batter turns a new shade, as it absorbs the red dye.

After setting aside 9.75 oz. of the brownie batter, I spread what remains in the baking pan. This is when I mix together the cheesecake batter, as we’re instructed to “use immediately.” Ready yourself for the challenge of whisking together the cream cheese and the sugar and the flour by hand. It’s thick and difficult! Thank goodness the eggs are added to loosen it all. Spread the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter, then swirl in the reserved amount.

I bake for 48 minutes, until my brownies are 165° F.

After cooling in the pan, then refrigerating, you’ll slice your 12 bars. A single bar, I’ll tell you, is quite an overwhelming serving. It’s a powerhouse of heavy flavors, thick and intense.

This all a magnificent exercise. Something to be proud of, for sure. Taste what’s unique.