I have a stringent criteria for which recipes I try; I implicitly trust anything from Cook's Illustrated, and I also trust most food magazines as they will vigilantly recipe test. I also will try a recipe from foodtv.com or epicurious.com if it has been rated highly by a significant number of people. And of course, if I try something that I'm impressed by I will ask for the recipe. This recipe did not meet any of these criteria - someone brought the bars to the neighborhood block party. I wasn't there, but the neighborhood email list was all a twitter about them, so I thought I would take a chance and try them. I thought they were okay – my biggest issue with them was the appearance. The top was dry and craggy in a way I found unappealing. I did like the flavor and ease of the cheesecake layer. I might take the cheesecake and incorporate it with a better brownie recipe.
So back to the bars, which I made for Brian's holiday party, I needed to fix them somehow. Then inspiration hit – frosting! Frosting fixes everything and Rosie's Bakery's famous chocolate orgasms are nothing more than brownies topped with a rich chocolate frosting. I used Alton Brown's chocolate ganache frosting which was so simple, easy and rich. I'm sure I'll use the frosting recipe again.
Cheesecake Brownie Bar
1 ¾ Cups flour
1 ½ Cups powder sugar
½ cup of cocoa powder
2 sticks of butter (cold)
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
Oven @ 350. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Cut in the butter to the mixture to pea sized pieces. Put aside 2 Cups of mixture for topping. Press the remaining in to an ungreased 13 x 9 glass pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, beat the cream cheese till fluffy, add condensed milk, egg and vanilla. Beat till smooth. Pour over crust, sprinkle the remaining cocoa mixture on top and bake 25 minutes. Cool and chill in fridge. Don't cut till fully chilled.
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
16 ounces (2 cups) heavy cream
Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl of a food processor.
Heat the heavy cream in a quart-sized, microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Process by pulsing several times until chocolate mixture is smooth. Use as is for glazing. If you wish to make a lighter frosting, allow it to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Once at room temperature, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 to 3 minutes.