Monday, December 20, 2010

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl

I kind of hate to admit this, but until recently I wasn't really the biggest fan of red velvet cake.  I didn't think it was anything special - just chocolate cake with way less chocolate than I prefer.  Don't get me wrong - I still ate it - it is cake after all, and I've never been one to turn down cream cheese frosting.  Now, however, I appreciate it much more for what it is - a soft and tender cake with just a hint of chocolate, and a nice tang from the buttermilk (or sour cream).  Paired with cream cheese frosting, it is now one of my favorite cake flavors.

These brownies combine the fudginess of a good brownie with the tang of red velvet cake.  I was really excited when I saw this recipe, but upon closer inspection it just looked like a light chocolate brownie with red food coloring.  To me, the defining characteristic of red velvet cake is buttermilk.  So I added a bit of buttermilk, as well as some vinegar.  I also opted to incorporate a cream cheese swirl rather than using frosting.  The end result was rich and fudgy like a good brownie, but had the flavors of a good red velvet cake - the best of both worlds if you ask me. 

One Year Ago:  Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl
Brownies adapted from Southern Living, December 2010
Cream Cheese Swirl adapted from Cook's Illustrated
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (1-oz) bottle red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 large egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9 inch square baking dish with two pieces of aluminum foil, folding ends over the edges.  Spray with cooking spray.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl.  Cook 30 seconds at a time until melted, stirring well after each time.  Whisk in the sugar.  One at a time, add the eggs, whisking well between each addition.  Stir in the flour, food coloring, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar.  Combine well, then pour into the prepared baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk.  Drop spoonfuls over the brownie batter, then use a table knife to swirl into the batter.

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.


Inna said...

This looks delicious! I'm a huge fan of anything 'red-velvet'. said...

Very cool and unique! Never made red velvet anything, maybe now I will :-)

Unknown said...

they are also adorable, lovely picture.

Jazz Rules said...

Hmmmmmmm.... Red Velvet.... I wonder what other interesting things you can make with it... Red Velvet Pancakes??

Vicki Wilde said...

These look lovely, so vibrant! I love red velvet, the color and flavor! The addition of a cream cheese swirl is perfect!

Camala - CC Recipe said...

I saw this recipe and wanted to make it but I am so glad I saw your adaptions because I think I would like it much more:) Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Those look great! Nice changes you made. Will have to try them out :) Amy

Teri said...

Just made these red velvet brownie bites w/ white chocolate cheesecake filling & tangy cream cheese frosting ( using your recipe from Dec 20, 2010 ( as a starting point. They are great! Even my husband loves them, and while his family has a great red velvet recipe, it's got a success rate of only about 20% that it'll be good.

cj said...

What kind of chocolate should I use?

cj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Love-love-love! I'm making these for my 3 little people!

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