March 27, 2010

Quadruple Chocolate Brownie Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Pretty much the first words* out of Valerio's mouth yesterday when I got into Rome were, "voglio un dolce!" (I want a dessert!). I used to always make cakes and desserts for him (back what I actually had an oven), and I guess I sort of spoiled him to the point of expecting me to make him some sort of fancy dessert every couple of weeks or so. It's been a couple of months since I've actually baked him something (living in a difference country where I don't have an oven makes it sort of hard) so he decided to take advantage of my staying with him (in his house with a huge kitchen and working oven) to demand a cake from me.

Normally I don't like when people demand things from me, but to be honest, I sort of had a little hankering for something chocolatey. So I spent a little time on Foodgawker looking for he perfect fudgey brownies recipe. But then Valerio mentioned that he wanted something with that "white stuff" I used to make - that "white stuff" being cream cheese frosting. I'd never heard of cream cheese frosted brownies before, but since the ones I was making were extra chocolately, I figured the tang of the cream cheese would balance it out well.

The brownie recipe I used was ThomasKeller's "Ah Hoc" Chocolate Brownies, which I modified a bit to be quadruple chocolate brownies, by adding milk chocolate and white chocolate to the dark chocolate and cocoa powder), and Lovin' From the Oven's Cream Cheese Frosting, which she swears by.

Here are the two recipes, with my modifications in bold. If you want to see the original recipe, without my modifications, go here.

"Ad Hoc" Quadruple Chocolate Brownies

(Print Friendly Version)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
 (we use valhrona)
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
 (you may want to reduce this a bit, by 1/8-1/4 pound. I used the full amount the recipe calls for and I found it a bit greasy).
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces ( about 1 1/2 cups), divided in two
  • 4  ounces milk chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. At Ad Hoc, they use a 9-inch square silicone mold, because it keeps the edges from overcooking; if you use a metal or glass baking pan, butter and flour it. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside
Melt half the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Put the remaining butter in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter and stir to melt the butter. The butter should look creamy, with small bits of unmelted butter, and be at room temperature. Mix in half of the dark chocolate (4 oz) into the butter until completely combined.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until thick and very pale. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. 
  6. Mix together the remaining chopped chocolate pieces (4 oz each dark, milk, and white chocolate).
  7. Add the mixed chopped chocolate and stir to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

  8. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer poked into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If the pick comes out wet, test a second time, because you may have hit a piece of chocolate chip; then bake for a few more minutes longer if necessary.
  9. Cool in the pan until the brownie is just a bit warmer than room temperature.
 Run a knife around the edges if not using a silicone mold, and invert the brownie onto a cutting board. Spread cream cheese frosting over the brownies. (The brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days). If you don't want to use the frosting, then Thomas Keller recommends cutting into squares and dusting the brownies with powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese (only use Philadelphia brand!)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • few drops of water
Beat all ingredients well and spread on top of cooled cake.

The verdict? It was delicious! We even snuck a little corner before dinner! Yum! 
But if I had one regret, I would have put walnuts or pecans in it too, but it totally slipped my mind! 
Either way, it was tasty enough like this!

* OK, I'm exaggerating a bit. But they were maybe his second or third words :)


Caro said...

Drooooling :P

Julia said...

Valerio sounds just like my boyfriend, Florian, who is always asking for dessert! And frankly, that's alright with me...'cause I'll eat it, too!

I have to save your recipe and make it one of these's a great FGS...fat girl surprise!

-city-love- said...

haha that is exactly what i was going to say-drooling.
cream cheese icing makes everything better!

Kate said...

My arteries are snapping shut just looking at it...but they know I'd try to eat the whole thing because it looks so frigging tasty. Great work!

Dorkys Ramos said...

This post is pure evil and I want some cake NOW!

JMay said...

Ok, that cake looks AMAZING. Not good for my wedding diet but good for the soul??? hahah.