6tablespoonsunsalted butter, cut into pieces(3 ounces/85g)
4ouncesbittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (1 scant cup)(see headnote)(115g)
1tablespooninstant espresso powder
2large eggs, at room temperature
1/2cupsweet white rice flour(70g)
1tablespoonunsweetened cocoa powder (dutch-processed or natural)
1/2cupchopped chocolate or chocolate chips(2 3/4 ounces/80g)
8ouncescream cheese, at room temperature(200g)
1large egg yolk
Make the brownie batter:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºLine an 8x8 or 9x9" square baking pan on all sides with parchment paper or heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving a 2" overhang.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate, and stir until just melted. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the sugar and espresso powder. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then the flour, cocoa and salt. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Make the cheesecake swirl:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl fitted with your arm and a wooden spoon), beat the cream cheese on medium-low until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the yolk and vanilla extract.
Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and dollop the cheesecake mixture over the top in 7 or 8 big blobs. Drag the tip of a paring knife through the batters back and forth a few times in both directions to swirl. (Don't over-swirl – big pockets of cheesecake are the point here.)
Bake the brownies until puffed all over, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then use the parchment handles to lift the mega brownie out. (Optionally, chill the brownies until cold for the cleanest cuts). Use a large chef's knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean between each cut to trim away the outer 1/4" (if you like), then cut the brownies into 16 squares.
The brownies will keep for up to 2 days at cool room temperature, up to 5 in the fridge, or up to 1 month double-wrapped and in the freezer. (David says you can eat them frozen!) I like them best at room temperature, when they are soft and gooey.
Adapted from David Lebovitz, master of all things decadent.I used Scharffen Berger's 70% bittersweet chocolate for both the batter and the chopped chocolate, and this produces a very intense, bittersweet brownie. Use a sweeter chocolate to make them more kid-friendly if you like.To warm your cream cheese in a hurry, cut it into small cubes, place them in a metal bowl in a single layer, and place it on a dish towel on top of the oven while it preheats and while you make the brownie batter.If gluten isn't an issue for you, you can use all-purpose flour in place of the rice flour. I used an 8x8" pan here, but can also bake these in a 9x9" pan.For the cleanest cuts, chill the baked and cooled brownies until firm, about 2 hours, then dip a large chef's knife in hot water and wipe it clean between each cut. Let the brownies come back to room temperature before indulging.Nutritional values are based on one of sixteen recipes.