Thursday, January 19, 2012

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

Hello and welcome to my next Adventure In Baking.  This weeks recipe comes from my favorite baking blog, Baked Perfection.  Last fall, I was watching a show on Food Network and the host made these brownies and they looked really good.  I had every intention of finding the website and printing out the recipe but waited too long and couldn't even remember the name of the show.  It was the first time I saw it and haven't seen it again since!  Imagine my surprise while reading blog posts on Baked Perfection that she had watched the original episode a year earlier and made the brownies.   Fate, I tell ya....

The Ingredients.  First, let me just say that a brownie is my idea of a perfect desert.  Chocolate with fudge frosting.  And walnuts.  On one hand, I'm a little surprised I chose to make these brownies but they just intrigued me.  One of the goals I have with this whole baking adventure is to try new things.  Not just new, but also out of my comfort zone.  Not just brownies, red velvet and cream cheese brownies. 

Wouldn't you know it.....I finally think ahead to set the butter out to soften and it needs to be melted.  Sigh.  I did have to purchase a few things for the recipe such as red food coloring and apple cider vinegar but my pantry is stocked with all the basics now. 

Let's Get Started.  I started out combining everything into one bowl, mixing between each addition.  I also whipped the eggs in a separate bowl before adding them to the mix and folding in the flour.  Then I poured the batter into the pan and saved 1/4 cup for the top.

 Next step. The cream cheese layer. Blend cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Ha! Didn't fling cream cheese all over the place with the mixer. I've been flinging all kinds of things onto the counter, wall, floor and me ever since I started this journey. I's cream cheese, not flour but I finally have a day I don't have to do laundry after baking.

Final step.  Spread the cream cheese layer on top of the batter and dollop the remaining red batter over the cream cheese layer.  I then used the sharp tip of a steak knife to drag the batter around and mix it with the cream cheese to create the swirl pattern.  Does that look cool or what!!

Taste Test. The recipe said to bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I thought that sounded a little strange since I used to bake brownies from a mix for almost an hour, but who am I to second guess the recipe. After 30 minutes I removed the pan from the oven and let them cool for over an hour before slicing into them for the photo shoot.  The brownie still has it's swirl on, but the middle isn't quite as solid as I'd like.  Totally failed the toothpick test.  I went ahead and tried a little bite on the outer edge.  Hmmmmm.  Doesn't smell like a brownie.  Definitely doesn't taste like a brownie.  Oh well, you win some and you lose some.  I'm probably not going to like everything I make especially as picky as I am.  I'll just chalk this one up to a learning experience.  Except now I really want a REAL brownie! 

The clean up.  I decided to put them back in the oven and it took an additional 50 minutes (!) to get the toothpick to come out clean from the center.  I decided to try another nibble of the brownie now that's it's fully baked.  Oh!  Maybe another nibble.  Ummm, maybe this isn't the disaster I thought it was.  Maybe I should just go ahead and eat the whole piece.   OK, this tastes pretty good!  Amazing what a little additional time in the oven can do.  It still doesn't taste like any brownie I've ever had.  I think it has much more of a cheesecake thing going on than a brownie.  I'd make this again for a special occasion.  Maybe it just needs a name change.  How about Cream Cheese Almost Brownie.  Nah, doesn't explain why it's red.  I'll have to work on that.

On the next episode.  I haven't narrowed down next weeks treat just yet but I'm thinking about the next flavor profile I'd like to try.  Maybe butterscotch? 

Hope to see you back here soon.


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