(Updated 11/24/16: Fixed broken links)
The 2008 Scharffen Berger – TuttiFoodie Chocolate Adventure had over 900 entries submitted, and my entry was a twist on the black and white brownie, that classic combination of a brownie base and a cheesecake topping.
I went on an “adventure” with the recipe by I adding cardamom powder to the chocolate layer and pomegranate molasses to the cheesecake. The spice provides an aromatic high note that sits above the deep chocolate foundation. The fruitiness and sourness of the pomegranate molasses work with the tang of the cream cheese, providing additional counterpoint to the chocolate.
Cardamom-Pomegranate Cheesecake Brownies
For the brownie
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate 61 to 72 percent cacao, chopped into small pieces
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs large
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
For the pomegranate cheesecake
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses see note below
Prepare Your Equipment
- Place an oven rack on a mid-level setting. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Line the bottom of a 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment paper.
Mix the Brownie Batter
- Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or microwave oven (at 50% or lower power). Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl (using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
- Add the salt and flour and mix to combine.
- Reserve several tablespoons of the chocolate batter to put on top of the cheesecake.
- Transfer the remaining batter to the prepared baking pan. Level the surface with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle the ground cardamom across the top of the batter.
Make the Pomegranate Cheesecake
- In a clean mixing bowl (using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar together until well-combined and smooth, a few minutes. Add the pomegranate molasses and mix on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the cheesecake batter onto the chocolate base and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Drop portions of the chocolate batter in a few places on top of the cheesecake topping.
- Using a knife, make the surface marble-like appearance by slicing through the boundaries of the two batters and lightly swirling the cheesecake layer and the dropped chocolate batter pieces. If the chocolate batter is so firm that swirling is difficult, it can be done carefully a few minutes after the pan goes into the oven.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Pomegranate molasses is available from stores specializing in Middle Eastern products and some natural food stores.