Well, after having a comment from Dorie herself, I had to make sure that I followed through with my goal of baking along with the crowd at Tuesdays With Dorie. I am not an official member yet, as the group seems to be currently closed, but I am going to be a member in spirit. This group of bloggers bakes the same recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours and then blogs about it. Simple, right? Oh, and you are not supposed to post the recipes to encourage people to get the book. You should get the book; it is so great that here I am doing this. However, I am pretty sure that you are supposed to taste your own recipes, and I didn't get to do that.
You see, anyone who knows me knows that being timely is not my best quality. I have all intentions of being on time, but I never calculate correctly. I am perpetually late, usually 7 minutes, but sometimes way more. So, with baking, it is best for me to do it at night when I don't have be anywhere. Thus was the case last night, when I delved into this week's project: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies. I had picked up the cream cheese earlier in the day (and even got extra to put in the freezer for future projects) and had set out my ingredients so that everything was room temperature. I just didn't look at the clock and factor in all of the time a cheesecake needs to cool.
Because I had read a few posts that the brownies were rather lackluster, I added an extra ounce of unsweetened chocolate to the brownie mix. The brownie part was really simple and came together beautifully. The batter on the whisk was delicious.
The cheesecake layer was even easier, as my trusty Kitchenaid did all of the work and I just dumped in the ingredients. That batter, with it's espresso flavor was divine and I licked off every last bit of it from the paddle attachment before I washed it (but after I poured it into the pan :)
BTW, have I mentioned how much I love my Kitchenaid mixer? It is such a workhorse and makes doughs, icings, and batters so easily. I use it all the time and it just keeps going, strong as ever. Which, actually is rather unfortunate because I am currently lusting after Kitchenaid 90th Anniversary Mixer, in all of its candy apple red glory with the glass mixing bowl. Alas, with mine working as well as the day I got it, I can't justify it.
Anyways, the cheesecake layer was a "piece of cake" and my only challenge was swirling the last quarter of the brownie batter with the cheesecake batter. My brownie batter was too thick and didn't swirl well but I made sure that the chocolate was studded throughout.
So, here is where I ran into trouble and my lateness was a problem. I didn't account for how long it would take to cool that thing when it came out of the oven. I wanted to do it gradually, so I left it in the oven, with the oven turned off and the door ajar. After a little while, I transferred it to the counter, then to the fridge. At this point it was 10 p.m. and I was exhausted. I wanted to go to bed so badly, but I still had to put on the sour cream topping.
So, I took a bath, where instead of reading my novel, I read Cook's Illustrated 100 best recipes of all time. I really need to get my head out of the oven! Finally, at 11 p.m., I made the sour cream topping, layered it on top of the cooled cheesecake where it needed to set for an hour and went to bed. This morning, MrRuckus (or DrRuckus as he would prefer to be known) took it to a meeting. He and the Espresso Cheesecake Brownies left at 6:30 a.m.
I asked that he bring back tasting notes, but all I got was from his boss, "These things will get you high!" Well, if that isn't high praise, I don't know what is.