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These brownies are incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that a person who thought it was only raining on her feet this morning could make them.
As I walked out of my apartment this morning to the bus stop I started feeling little drops of water on my feet. Initially I was very frustrated that I hadn’t thought to bring an umbrella and rather than walk back up the flight of stairs to my apartment I decided to just let it rain on me.
A minute later I realised that I wasn’t feeling raindrops anywhere else on my body, it was only on my feet.
At that point my thought train was more along the lines of: “HOW IS IT ONLY RAINING ON MY FEET? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? WHAT IS HAPPENING!?”
And then, I looked down and realized my water bottle had fallen over in my bag and was leaking out the bottom.
See, you just never know where the day is going to take you.
It could be a day where part of your sweater, one leg of your jeans and your shoes are all wet before it’s even 9:00 or it could be a day when red velvet and cheesecake are magnificently paired together and all is right with the world. Or it could be both!
Sadly though, I didn’t have any more of the brownies to console me after my battle against myself. I made these red velvet cheesecake brownies for a friend last week that was having a farewell BBQ before he left for Switzerland for 13 months.
Travelling at this age (early twenties) is another time when you have no idea where each day will take you. Most times you’re not going to be living in luxury during your European getaway and it’s more likely you’ll be along for whatever life is going to throw at you, especially in terms of accommodation. But most of the time that’s just part of the fun.
One of my friends just got back from Thailand where she and her boyfriend spent an hour wandering around in the rain only to realise the hotel they had booked didn’t even exist and was just an online scam.
I once stayed at a hostel in Venice that was apparently very clean and well run (according to online reviews) only to get there and realise we had been put in a giant dorm style room with about ten other girls and creepy crawly bed bugs wreaking havoc around the place.
But just because you don’t know what will happen doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bad.
On that same trip I also stayed at a hostel in Rome that was incredibly nice and even gave us free sparkling wine on arrival despite the fact that it was dirt cheap and we were just a couple mangy backpackers.
And when I first travelled to Australia, I never knew that it would lead me to come back again and find the life I have now.
Surprises such as unexpected rainfall on your feet are pretty much par for the course but you can take solace in the fact that with these brownies, if you follow the recipe, you know exactly what you’re getting. And they’ll definitely make up for the fact that you just did a weird rain dance on a busy street early in the morning or showed up in a foreign country without a place to stay. Or, if you’re a bit luckier, they could be a great celebration of the fact that you’ve just started a journey that could change your life.
Red Velvet Cheesecake brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 16 large brownies or 24 smaller brownies.
Recipe from Baking Bites.
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Visit Alexandra's food blog: www.urbanfeast.com