Saturday, January 26, 2008

My chocolate adventure

Photo of Cardamom-pomegranate cheesecake chocolate brownies by Mental MasalaThe winners of the Scharffen Berger - TuttiFoodie Chocolate Adventure have been announced! Congratulations to all who won or made it to the final round!

Unfortunately, I'm not one of the winners -- with over 900 entries submitted, I can't say that I'm surprised.

My entry was a twist on the black and white brownie, that classic combination of a brownie base and a cheesecake topping.

I went on an "adventure" with the recipe by I adding cardamom powder to the chocolate layer and pomegranate molasses to the cheesecake. The spice provides an aromatic high note that sits above the deep chocolate foundation. The fruitiness and sourness of the pomegranate molasses work with the tang of the cream cheese, providing additional counterpoint to the chocolate.



Cardamom-pomegranate cheesecake brownies

For the brownie:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (61 to 72 percent cacao), chopped into small pieces
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch salt
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

For the pomegranate cheesecake:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 large egg
3/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see note below)

Weights and Measures, Metric Conversion


Place an oven rack on a mid-level setting. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Line the bottom of a 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or microwave oven (at 50% or lower power). Set aside.

In a mixing bowl (using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Add the salt and flour and mix to combine.

Reserve several tablespoons of the chocolate batter to put on top of the cheesecake.

Transfer the remaining batter to the prepared baking pan. Level the surface with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle the ground cardamom across the top of the batter.

In a clean mixing bowl (using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar together until well-combined and smooth, a few minutes. Add the pomegranate molasses and mix on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.

Pour the cheesecake batter onto the chocolate base and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Drop portions of the chocolate batter in a few places on top of the cheesecake topping. Using a knife, make the surface marble-like appearance by slicing through the boundaries of the two batters and lightly swirling the cheesecake layer and the dropped chocolate batter pieces. If the chocolate batter is so firm that swirling is difficult, it can be done a few minutes after the pan goes into the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Note: Pomegranate molasses is available from stores specializing in Middle Eastern products and some natural food stores.



Random link from the archive: More Snacks for the Ears
Technorati tags: Chocolate : Baking : vegetarian : Food

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A Few Reservations said...

Sounds divine.