The daughter has been slaving away at her desk the last few months preparing for her upcoming IB exams which finally takes place next week. So I try to stay home as much as possible during this period just to be with her to give her moral support. I think it makes a difference for a child working so hard just knowing that Mom is around, whether or not Mom can help her with Higher Level Chemistry (which Mom cannot). But to be totally honest, it has rendered me somewhat restless, so I have turned to doing quite a lot of baking lately. Anyway, I tell myself it’s better for the daughter to munch on preservatives-free snacks than store-bought stuff. So here’s something I have been trying recently, adapted from a recipe in the book ‘Crave’ by Mac Woo & June Lee.
It’s a fudgy, moist chocolate brownie like cake, with a light cream cheese filling. Make sure to use good butter and cocoa powder as these are the principal flavours. Apart from snacking, I think they’d make a good addition to school lunchboxes, for school parties and as a food-gift packed once you dress it up nicely. With a hand held blender, it’s really easy and fuss-free to make too.
Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake
Cream cheese filling
120g cream cheese, softened
70g castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate brownie layer
200g butter, softened
100g brown sugar
40g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g self-raising flour
12 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
Make the cream cheese filling first. Blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add in the egg and blend again until it is well incorporated. Set aside.
In another bowl, blend the butter, brown and castor sugar until creamy and light. Then blend in the egg and vanilla essence.
Then alternating between the flour and milk, work these two ingredients into the batter in several batches. (I know what you’re thinking. The amount of milk sounded excessive to me at first, too, but it did work out fine in the end. So trust the recipe!)
Line two 12-hole muffin pans with cupcake liners. Fill half the liners with the chocolate batter, then with 1 Tbsp cream cheese filling each, and top up again with more chocolate batter.
Bake for 30 mins at 180C or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.
Another time, I turned this recipe into a whole cake, as you can see below. For this, I doubled the amount of the cream cheese filling and used the rest of the recipe as above. I had to bake it longer – about 45 minutes, but the outcome was excellent too. Something you might try if you prefer making whole cakes. This would make a great gift for Christmas, as an alternative of fruitcake.