photo by Kit Langit
When I found out that the theme for the first pastry exchange was heavenly bars and brownies, my priority was to find the easiest recipe I could. Then, seeing the other participants’ yummy sounding, multi-syllabic variants, I began to think a ‘basic-fudge-brownie’ might be anticlimactic (and cowardly). So, what’s the next easiest recipe to that? Marble-ize it!
As a fan of cheesecake myself, I was happy to learn that what gave a brownie its marble was a simple cream cheese mixture on top. The online recipe seemed easy enough, so I gave it a try. What came out looked surprisingly nice, and upon tasting, my family declared it as, “…YOU made this!?” - - which translates as “very good”!
Personally, I found the brownies quite sweet and too rich for my taste. For the kids though, this kind of almost-solid-fudge bar was a delicious treat! Thank goodness for the cream-cheese on top. It mingled (or should I say marbled) well and gave a mildly salty contrast to the brownie, preventing death by chocolate overload.
At the pastry exchange, I needed help to get my brownies out of the pan and to cut them neatly into bars. I guess that’s equivalent to having a big “Newbie!” sign stuck to my forehead. Yumi, Michelle and Emily were eager to help. Despite the shortening I used for greasing, my bars were just too moist to survive being inverted onto a chopping board (at home we sort of ate them from the pan…). Yumi was able to save them though, and she also taught me to use non-stick baking paper next time, as a liner for easy transfer.
Another thing I learned (this time from Michelle) was that the amount of eggs in a recipe affects how fudgy-moist vs. ‘cakey’ it will be. American recipes that call for two large eggs may require three of our local-sized eggs to generate the same consistency.
photo by Camille Bautista
As an epilogue of sorts, I want to share that I tried making the marble-fudge brownies with the adjustments I learned from the exchange. Actually, some friends invited us over for lunch and when I asked what we could bring, they requested for the brownies they'd read about on this blog. Haha, pressure! Fortunately, I'd learned a few things by then. I lined my pan with non-stick baking paper, but greased it first to prevent the liner from slipping. I also added one more egg to the recipe, to diffuse the fudge level slightly and give it more rise. Lastly, after it cooled down, I chilled the entire pan in the refrigerator overnight before cutting into neater bars the next morning. I found that with the liner and the firm chilled brownies, I had a much easier time. The kids still loved it, our friends took seconds and I thought they were really yummy too. It was a proud moment!
In case you’d like a copy of this recipe, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org