Baker at Heart ♥

Archive for the ‘Bars and Brownies’ Category

Here’s the recipe for the best cream cheese brownies ever. It’s adapted from Baking Illustrated, which I think is the ultimate baking bible.


Cream Cheese Brownies

adapted from Baking Illustrated / makes 16 brownies (or depends on how you cut them) / bakes in 50-60 mins at 325F (160C)

For the brownies, you’ll need:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 tsps vanilla extract

 3 eggs

For the cream cheese layer, you’ll need:

1 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325F and butter an 8-inch square pan. Set aside.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Put the chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments or until completely smooth and melted. Let mixture cool.

4. Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture. Make sure to add eggs one at at time. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

5. Pour batter into the prepared pan but set aside 1/2 cup of the batter.

6. For the cream cheese layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth and well-blended.

7. Pour the cream cheese batter evenly over the brownie batter. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese filling. Run a knife or a skewer through the two batters to create a marbled effect.

8. Bake until the edges are puffy and the cream cheese filling is just starting to brown, around 50-60 minutes. Few, moist crumbs should stick when a skewer or cake tester is inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and let in cool in a wire rack for at least two hours. Refrigerate overnight then cut into squares.

These brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days.


Happy Monday to everyone who’s in the same side of the world as I am! I have been hibernating for a week now (I’m on a three-week long staycation) and my days have been quite productive. For starters, I have enrolled in a driving school and yes, I can now more or less drive a manual car! Driving is quite a daunting task, especially here in our country. We have crazy drivers, rough, pothole-filled roads (yeah I just drove on one long stretch of said road this morning) and crazier pedestrians who will risk their lives crossing the highway instead of using the overhead bridge. Funny thing is I’m learning on a manual but our car is an automatic, so I don’t know… I don’t think it’s a waste of time but I won’t be able to practice my manual driving skills after driving school ends on Thursday.


Last Saturday, I was browsing through food blogs and looking for something to bake. I had just baked cupcakes the week before, so I decided on making brownies instead. A lot of the food blogs I have read proclaimed this brownie as the best brownie ever. And yes, this brownie recipe didn’t disappoint. The recipe was from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. The brownie was moist, rich, dense and very chocolate-y (hello 11 oz of chocolate plus cocoa powder!). It wasn’t crumbly and dry like the other brownies I have tried before. It was really one awesome brownie and I’d definitely bake it again and again and again. Everyone here in our house couldn’t get enough of it too!

The Baked Brownie

brownie (2)

From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking / 350F (180C) / Bakes in 30 minutes

You’ll need:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
8 ounces unsalted butter, chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I don’t have espresso powder here so I used Moccona instant coffee granules instead)
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. Melt  butter, dark chocolate and coffee powder in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water. Once melted, turn off heat and stir in the white and brown sugars. Let it cool to room temperature.

3. Sift flour, salt and cocoa powder in a small bowl. If you’re lazy like me, you can just dry-whisk the mixture.

4. Once the melted chocolate mixture has come to room temp, add in 3 eggs and stir until combined. Add the last 2 eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and stir.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and FOLD until just combined and with no flour streaks left. Do not whisk the two mixtures together! Do not over-beat! This is important! 🙂

6. Spread batter over the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brownie comes out with few moist crumbs. Make sure to rotate the pan halfway through the baking time. Let cool in a wire rack for 30 minutes then cut into squares (or whatever shape/size you like).

Or you can also cut it immediately and get your tongue burnt just like me. But it was so good I wasn’t thinking of my tongue or my fingertips which were already reddish from holding the hot brownie. 😛

Here’s to a positive week ahead! Aja!