Despite it being ten years since I went, the Union Square Cafe still lingers as a restaurant with nothing but positive associations in my memory, and will be top of my list if I ever manage to make it back to New York. This memory has probably been stimulated by the purchase by my parents (I was 15 at the time, and intent on spending my money in Sephora) of their cookbook, which I have probably read a few dozen times. These particular brownies appealed out of some aesthetic fascination with marbling, combined probably with them being the only thing 15 year old me wasn’t too intimidated to cook in the book. The marbling is created using a kind of cheesecake mixture, and amazingly manages to hold well through the baking process .They are the exact right kind of squidgy, gooey brownie (dry brownies are my pet hate, so close to perfection, and yet so so far). They are also quite elegant looking, and with some creme anglaise could definitely double as a posh dessert. For my part, I tend to whip them out for birthdays where it is difficult to transport a cake (some day, I will learn to drive, and everyone will get birthday cakes).
- 122g dark chocolate
- 135g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 170 g caster sugar
- 100g cream flour
- pinch of salt
- 55g sugar
- 215g cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 180°.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie, stirring to combine.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar for the fudge mix together in a large bowl until well combined but not increased in size.
- Add the melted chocolate to this, and stir well.
- Add the flower and blend with the other ingredients.
- To make the cheesecake mix, cream the sugar and cream cheese together, preferably using a standing mixer, but a hand held blender would probably manage.
- Add the egg and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Pour the chocolate mix into a buttered and lined 8″ brownie tin.
- Pour in the cheesecake mix and swirl with a fork to create a marbling pattern (be careful not to swirl too much and blend it in)
- Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes (start testing with a fork or scewer from 30 on every few minutes, if necessary covering with tin foil to prevent the top burning).
- Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before unmolding.
- Cut into squares and serve.
- The union square cookbook suggests doing these in individual moulds. My experience is however that people tend to prefer the centre to the edge pieces of brownies. Thus I usually prepare these in a big tin, and trim the edge pieces off. But each to their own.