January 03, 2011

Baking with Carla: Cream Cheese Brownie Cake

It’s the first Monday of the year. Do you know what that means? It means that school resumes. It means that after 2 weeks of holidays I’m back to work. I know I should not complain about it. Most people do not get 2 weeks of Christmas holidays. There must be a perk in doing such a tiring job like teaching pre-schoolers. These 2 weeks did not feel too much. I was tired. I was exhausted. My life was a non-stop from August to December, so I sure needed 2 weeks. And for several reasons, I already know that January is going to be a hell of a month. I will be working far more hours than my usual schedule and I already have other commitments that will keep me more busy than what I like to be. Fo example, I know I won’t be able to be here, in my little humble space, with you guys as often and I wish. I’m already approaching January with a zen attitude. I know it will suck and I’ll deal with it. I will try to make the most of out it and I know I will also have to step back from blogging a little bit or I won’t get to the end of the month in one piece.

There is one thing that makes me happy about the beginning of the school year though: baking with Carla is resumed. And that really makes me happy. We met today after a three-week break and I had no doubt about the fact that we were going to make cream cheese brownies. To hell all the New Year’s resolutions. I do not make new year’s resolutions. If I did, I would not stick to them and I would get frustrated by guilty feelings for not sticking to them. So, what’s the point?

So without the burden of a “I need to eat healthier” resolution, I went ahead and treated Carla, her family and me (I have to taste test everything we make, right?) with these wonderful brownies. Nobody complained about me been a rule-breaker J

Actually, 5 minutes after I got home, they send me an email with the grade. The subject of the email read "more than A+". They are such a funny family. I'm glad they like them. Oh, they are also Wally's favorite. I seem to make everybody happy with these brownies. Why don't I make them more often?

Cream Cheese Brownies

112 gr (4 oz) of your favorite chocolate
30 gr (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
2 eggs
150 gr (5.3 oz or 3/4 cup) white sugar
2 gr (1/4 tsp) salt
2 gr (1/2 tsp) baking powder
65 gr (2.25 oz or 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
30 gr (2 tbsp) butter
85 gr (3 oz) cream cheese
50 gr (1.78 oz or 1/4 cup) white sugar
1 egg
8 gr (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9” square baking pan with parchment paper.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over low heat with 2 tbsp of butter. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together 2 of the eggs and 150 gr (3/4 cup) sugar until thick. Stir in the salt, the baking powder, and 65 gr (1/2 cup) of flour. Finally stir in the cooled chocolate and the vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream 2 tablespoons of butter with the cream cheese. Gradually stir in 50 gr (1/4 cup) of sugar. Incorporate the one egg, 1 tbsp of flour, and 1/2 tsp of  vanilla extract.

Spread two-thirds of the chocolate batter in a pan. Layer on all of the cream cheese batter. 

Spoon on the remaining chocolate batter in spots. Zigzag through batter with a knife to create a marbling effect.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack before cutting into squares.

Source: adapted from allrecipes


  1. Oh I love baking with Carla posts! How could you not make everyone happy with those decadent comfort brownies? They look so happy.
    Good luck approaching January work with the Zen firmly in place. I am aspiring to do the same. Hopefully it will not crumble by 9 tomorrow morning. You will get through beautifully! And the school year will end sometime. Lol.

  2. Gotta get a new keyboard, I drooled on mine. These look fantastic. Brownies are a near perfect food and these look like best of class.

  3. wow looks amazing

    happy new year


  4. Wonderful recipe, and I love your photos!

  5. Sara, I think it's so cool that you do this. You're enriching Carla's life by sharing your time with her this way. It's so nice that you get such positive feedback from her family, too. This is great.

    Well, Missy, it sounds like you've got a crazy month ahead of you but I hope we'll be able to manage a brunch with the bay area foodie gang sometime anyway. I'm totally flexible so I'll yield to everyone's schedule.

    This brownie/cake looks delish. Have a great week. :-)

  6. This looks delicious and easy to make! i hope you have a relaxing month and dont stress yourself over work too much, life is always a rollercoaster! oh and do try to participate in my blog's "comfort food event' if you get a chance =)

  7. I didn't know that you are a teacher... that is awesome. I have several friends who are teachers and I never fully appreciated the work that they do until they became teachers. It's so funny seeing things from their eyes now! One of my best friends is a high school teacher and the stories she tells me are hilarious! I love that she gets so many holidays because she always comes and visits me on those days off :)
    These brownies look delicious! Great job with the marbling.

  8. Ugh, this is my favorite kind of brownie...I love love love cream cheese on my brownies! Gorgeous photos!

  9. Never thought of baking cream cheese brownies in a spring-form pan - what a great idea! The chocolate & cream swirls are dreamy.

  10. this looks delicious...i have a package of cream cheese sitting in the refrigerator that i look at every day thinking ' i gotta use that before it goes bad'...hmmm, i think i just found my recipe!

  11. Beautiful and sinful! I so want a slice. ;)

  12. OOhhh!!! An A+! Nicely done, Sara. I know what you mean about the schedule. We are entering Competition Dance Season... that means endless hours of rhinestoning costumes, travel on weekends and late nights at rehearsals. It's busy, but fun.
    Hang in there!

  13. The brownies looks beautiful. I really like the marbling.
    I'm going back to work tomorrow... :( why?!?
    Anyway, Happy New Year to you and good luck with the new term at school.

  14. These brownies look good enough to eat right off the computer screen. I'm going to have a find an excuse to make these ASAP.

    Happy New Year, and don't worry about all of us...we'll stick around no matter how often your blogging!

  15. Those brownies are incredible! I love the addition of cream cheese - yum!

    Best wishes in 2011!

  16. I wouldn't be complaining about those and I definitely want to be in on the taste-testing. I'm thrilled that you've resumed cooking with Carla! Lucky little lady.

    I'll having yo around as much, but will be thinking about you whenever I make a dessert that doesn't have chocolate; imagining us sharing pieces with coffee, ok?

  17. Your baking with Carla is a bright spot in both your life and for us readers! I am glad that both you and she enjoy it so much and turn out such wonderful treats. I hope January doesn't suck as much as you think it will. Sometimes when we set our expectations low, things surprise us!

  18. If you ever need extra taste testers, I'm available. I've been slammed too, sorry your so busy. I'm taking it slower this month too. Getting Carla hooked on baking at such age is a really great thing.

  19. i love how rich and decadent this looks! thanks for sharing this and have a great day!

  20. Oh, you're making my heart skip a beat. Chocolate and cream cheese brownie cake sounds soooo good right about now!

  21. Girl, you crack me up! I ALWAYS do a January "cleanse" of my gluttonous holiday ways. But I can assure you, I'll be baking this the first week in February! If I make it...

  22. Your baked goodies are going to be the ruin of me - and others, judging from the comments :) I can see why you make everyone happy with these brownies! A++

  23. I'm glad you guys like my baking with Carla posts! Sometimes I wonder whether they really could be on any interest with all the "moms blog" out there that are far more full of useful information but I truly have fun with Carla so I love sharing our baking goodies with you. And as I said, my hubby loves loves loves these brownies so they are not just to make with or for kids :)

  24. Wow, what a lovely decadent dessert. Great job, Sarah, it's mouth-watering. Hope your January isn't as bad you think it will be. Just take it one day at a time :-) Hope to meet up with you soon.

  25. Hooray! I love they gave you a grade! Too cute! Is January a busy month because school gets hectic? I can only imagine! We are in the midst of report cards and more report cards.

    I really enjoyed the post and the brownies and I like the unconventional tart pan approach... makes me want to eat even more!

    PS.... pop me an email later on if you have a good recipe for pecan sticky buns. I purchased yeast at the store and am ready to go full force into making a proofed dough. If you have something or have seen one somewhere let me know. xoxo megs

  26. This looks gorgeous! Carla is so lucky to bake with you! I am not doing any sort of cleanse. I am just trying to eat more veggies!!lol Buon Anno cara amica!

  27. you would have gotten an A+ from me for those gorgeous cheesecake brownies!! Just pour me a cup of coffee and cut off a big slice for me!
    I bet Carla was happy to see you and get back to baking!
    Have a great weekend!


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