Tag Archives: cream cheese

What to do with a fridge full of cream cheese…

Is it me, or does Philidelphia always seems to be on offer at the supermarket? I’m not a huge fan but for some reason I feel compelled to grab a bargain and end up stockpiling it! So here, my friends, is what to do if, like me, you happen to find yourselves with excessive amounts of cream cheese in your fridge…make cheesecake brownies!…

I asked my old mate google what to do and from his list of suggestions I was drawn to this recipe on the Joy of Baking site.

For the brownie layer you need…

113g unsalted butter, cut into pieces

115g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

250g granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

65g plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a tin with greaseproof paper. I used my standard brownie tin, which measures approximately 20 x 30cm.

Put the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt. Remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and salt and beat well with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy (it should take about one minute). Spread the brownie batter into the prepared tin but keep back about 1/2 cup of the mixture for later.

Now for the cream cheese layer…

227g cream cheese, at room temperature

65g granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Use a handheld mixer to blend the cream cheese until smooth. Then add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and blitz again until creamy and totally lump free! Pour/ spread the cream cheese layer as evenly as possible over the brownie layer. Lastly, spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie mix over the top of the cream cheese filling and with your kitchen implement of choice swirl the two batters to make a pretty pattern without mixing them too much (if that makes sense).

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to come away from the sides of the tin and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Put the brownie’s in the fridge for a few hours, this will make them extra fudgy and firm enough to cut. Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan and cut into squares with a sharp knife. They were so deliciously gooey that cutting them neatly was not an easy task. If I’m honest I don’t think they’ll last long enough to be judged on neatness but if you’re a perfectionist like me I recommend that you arm yourself with a glass of hot water for dipping the knife in and a cloth to wipe it on between cuts. Store the finished brownies in the fridge, where they’ll keep really well for several days.

I preferred them straight from the fridge but felt I should test them at a variety of temperatures so that I could vouch for the fact that they are totally scrummy in all conditions and…at any time of day 🙂

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Essential festival packing….

Tomorrow morning I’m heading off to the Big Chill Festival. Despite this being my 5th year of attendance, the annual ritual of packing far too much and jaunting off to a field in the middle of rural Herefordshire still hasn’t lost it’s excitement! Earlier today I wrote a Facebook status about the fact that I’ve stocked up with 2 litres of booze, tonic water, limes, bin bags, wet wipes, wellies, a selection of hats and a big fur coat and asking…’what more could you want for the perfect festival experience!?’ the answer, of course…home baked goodies to sustain the (possibly) soggy campers!

The logistics of carrying these baked goods was at the forefront of my mind so cupcakes or anything too fragile were instantly ruled out. I decided the flatter the cake the better and googled ‘tray bakes’. Waitrose came up trumps with what I have now deemed to be perfect festival fodder…

Plum tray bake with a cheesecake ripple

200g tub cream cheese

1tsp vanilla extract

3tbsp caster sugar

4 medium eggs

175g unsalted butter, softened

175g dark muscovado sugar

200g self-raising flour

400g ripe plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm  shallow baking tray making sure that the paper comes up higher than the rim of the tin.

Beat the cream cheese, vanilla extract, caster sugar and one of the eggs together until smooth.

In another bowl beat together the remaining eggs, butter, muscovado sugar and flour.

Now comes the assembling part…spread half the creamed flour mixture onto the base of the lined tray, dollop half the cream cheese mixture on top and swirl it around to create a marbled effect. Scatter over half of the plums. Then spread over the remaining flour mixture and dot with the last of the cream cheese mixture before topping with the plums.

Bake for 40/45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into approx 10 pieces (I need mine to stretch to 14 so that I don’t leave any of my friends wanting!).

This photo makes it look a bit overcooked but inside it looks just right…

The smell coming from the oven as it was baking was mouthwateringly divine…if this cake lasts until tomorrow without being devoured by either me or my housemates it’ll be a pure miracle!

And then there’s the issue of whether it can survive being packed into tupperware to endure a long car journey and whether it’ll still be edible after being dragged along on a trolley on the trek from the car park to the campsite! By which point I will probably be hungry enough to eat my own arm and will most definitely have earned myself a slice!

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