An alternative, which deserves a voice. Modified from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Base brownie recipe borrowed with pleasure from Lisa Yockelson

You will need:

1 1/4 cups APF

2 TBS + 2 TSP cocoa, preferably black or dutch processed

1/4 TSP baking powder

1/2 TSP salt

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

4 oz chocolate, unsweetened

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar (preferably vanilla scented)

1 1/2 TSP vanilla

1 package (or more, depending on you) of cream cheese. Leave it in the 'fridge until it's time. Because I said so.


Preheat the oven to 325. Spray or butter a 9 x 13 pyrex baking pan.

Mix all of the dry goods together. You can sift it if it floats your boat, but really, why bother?

Get a bowl, such as a pasta bowl, and put the butter and chocolate in it. Nuke at 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until evening is melted and stirrable, then let cool. The butter and chocolate are at relatively equal amounts here, so you're not really going to get a ganache consistency. But that would steal the show.

Cream sugar, vanilla, and eggs together in a mixing bowl or stand mixer. Adding a pinch of salt to this will help the eggs to break down and mix in quicker. Once it's well blended, add in the chocolate/butter mixture. Fold in the dry goods.

(Interesting note: Blending the cocoa and the unsweetened chocolate actually creates depth, or layers of flavor, that would not otherwise be present. You should experiment with this. It is swell.)

Precisely dollop (heh) a thin layer of brownie across the bottom of the pan. 

Break out the cream cheese, and using a sharp, wet knife, slice thin pieces of cream cheese and place them across the surface of the brownie layer, until it's as covered as you want it. If you like a thicker cream cheese layer, this may require two packs. This is not a wasted effort.

Place the rest of the cream cheese on top. Bake for...well, it depends on your oven, and stuff. say, 45 to 50 minutes for it to totally bake through. YMMV.

The trick with these is that you get this deep, intense, fudgy, slightly sweet chocolate, and then this burst of savory, unsweetened cream cheese right in the middle of it. The contrast is simply intense, and it works whether warm, or chilled. But since it's cream cheese, I do not recommend keeping it out, and it will only last about a week before the cream cheese goes kind of rubbery. This is usually not an issue.