The past few weeks have been quite busy for me. I've been interning with the Dubai based food magazine Ahlan! Gourmet, and I'm back to working part-time at the art gallery I was with before I got married. In addition I also celebrated my 2nd wedding anniversary with a red velvet cake, my birthday with the most amazing cake, and was fortunate enough to be featured in the November issue of Ahlan! Gourmet. Follow me on Instagram to have a look!
Although I've been enjoying every single minute, I've also been itching to get back in the kitchen to bake something for the blog. I had done a lot of Thanksgiving and Christmas based food research for the magazine, so I knew I had to bake something a little bit festive. And well, since I've been craving brownies, or more specifically cheesecake brownies, I decided adding a little peppermint extract would do the trick!
If you love cheesecake brownies, or even just fudgy brownies, then you will definitely love these peppermint cheesecake fudgy brownies! My favourite brownies have always been the dense fudgy type (whos favourite aren't they?!), and paired with cheesecake they make a delightfully gooey sweet and tangy tart combination. So I was even more happy to discover that when I added peppermint extract, and a little minty green food colour, a wonderfully cool cheesy chocolatey brownie was born! Chocolate and peppermint make one of the best holiday flavours, so these really are the perfect treat for Christmas!
While the texture itself is rich, the flavour of the peppermint isn't. I've added just enough to the brownie mix so that all you get is a refreshing taste, and the peppermint in the cheesecake layer is even more subtle. I also love that this recipe makes only 9 squares. Just one bite of these densely rich brownies is all you need to satisfy! I decorated my brownies with chocolate chips and mini chocolate crispy balls for an even more festive appearance.
Me and the hubby honestly loved these brownies so much, that where as I would usually send a share of my baking to the family, we enjoyed these all to ourselves!! ;)
P.S. If you want you can simply omit the peppermint and food colour altogether to get some good old cheesecake fudgy brownies instead. But I didn't tell you that!
Peppermint Cheesecake Fudgy Brownies
Makes 9 squares
For the brownie:
75g semisweet chocolate chips
85g unsalted butter
60g unsweetened/dark chocolate, chopped
168g caster sugar
2 large eggs
52g all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
For the cheesecake:
200g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
48g caster sugar
1 and half egg yolks
Touch of peppermint extract
Green food gel colour
Chocolate chips for decorating
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Line and grease an 8x4''or 6x6'' baking dish/pan with foil.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter and chopped chocolate. Heat in the microwave for one minute, removing to stir. Place back in the microwave for 30 second bursts, removing to stir all the time, until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Be careful not to over heat. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture, then the eggs one by one stirring till incorporated. Add the peppermint extract, then the flour, stirring until just combined.
4. Pour brownie batter into your prepared baking pan.
5. To make the cheesecake layer, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Add the green gel colour a little at a time and stir well, keeping in mind that the colour intensifies during baking.
6. Spread the cheese mixture onto the brownie layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and bake for 45-55 minutes, checking for doneness at 45 minutes.
7. Leave to cool before slicing into squares. Press mini chocolate crispy balls onto the cheesecake if desired. Store brownies in the fridge.