Red Velvet Brownies (with Cheesecake Swirl)
Red Velvet Brownies are, to me, the BEST and yummiest Red Velvet interpretation. Better than Red Velvet Cake, red velvet pancakes, red velvet cookies or ANY other Red Velvet thing you’ve ever had.
What makes Red Velvet Brownies so brilliant is their chewy, fudgy texture – not to mention the chocolatey, tangy flavour!
As you may know, Red Velvet Cake originated in the South of the USA during the Great Depression. The history is actually quite fascinating! You can read it here.
One of my favourite elements of Red Velvet Cake is the tanginess you get from the buttermilk and vinegar. I just had to retain that element in my Red Velvet Brownie recipe. I have done it by adding white spirit vinegar to the batter. Works like a charm.
Another key element is, of course, Cream Cheese Frosting. Now I’m not a huge fan of frosting brownies… It’s overkill in my opinion. Frosting is also incredibly sweet and since brownies already contain a fair bit of sugar, I don’t think it adds to the flavour.
The best option had to be to add the cream cheese (in some form) to the brownie batter before it gets baked.
It was a good move – the result is just incredible! You essentially make a small amount of cheesecake batter and swirl it into the brownies. The cheesecake batter also keeps the Red Velvet Brownies very moist. Total win-win!
This tried and tested recipe for Red Velvet Brownies has been one of the biggest successes in my bakery. My clients LOVE them and so do I!
- 160 g cream cheese (medium fat 25%, non-aerated)
- 25 g Granulated Sugar
- 25 g Egg White
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 180 g Flour
- 35 g Cocoa Powder
- 5 g Salt
- 210 g Unsalted Butter / Baking Margarine
- 40 g 70% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
- 160 g White Sugar
- 105 g Demerara Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 140 g Eggs (2 + left over egg from cheesecake mix)
- 2 tsp Red Food Colouring (liquid)
- 1 tsp White Spirit Vinegar
- Spray the inside of a 17 x 27 x 3 cm (7 x 10,5 x 1 inch) brownie tin with non-tick cooking spray. Line the tin with baking parchment so that it goes up the sides and 3 cm over the rim. This makes the brownies easy to pull out once cooked and cooled. If you don’t have this specific size tin, an 8 x 8 inch tin will also work just fine.
- Start by making the cheesecake swirl. Place egg white and cream cheese in a small bowl. Beat together with a hand mixer till smooth and thickened – about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and vanilla for 10 seconds.
- At this point the sugar won’t dissolve yet, so place the bowl in the fridge for now. We’ll get back to it later.
- Next make the Red Velvet Brownies. Sift flour, Cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
- Melt the margarine/butter in a mixing bowl in the microwave for 2 mins. Swirl so that solid bits get distributed. Microwave for another 30 sec. It must boil before you continue.
- Transfer the melted butter to the bowl of your standing mixer (you can also continue by hand if you wish). Mix in the dark chocolate, granulated sugar and demerara sugar on medium speed with paddle attachment for 15 seconds. Leave to stand for 1 minute so that the sugars and chocolate can melt a bit.
- While you are waiting, combine the eggs, vanilla, vinegar and food colouring in a separate bowl. Don’t beat the ingredients. Just stir them till they are more or less combined. Set aside.
- Return to your stand mixer with the melted butter and sugar. Beat again for 15 seconds. The sugar should stick to the paddle when you lift it up. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on lowest speed for 10 seconds.
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl in one go. Beat on low speed till roughly combined. Scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 30 seconds till the batter comes together and sticks to the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to medium-low and continue beating for another 2 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 170ºC/338ºF on the REGULAR BAKE SETTING (not convection/thermofan).
- Pour the Red Velvet Brownie Batter into your prepared tin. Place the pan in the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes, till the batter is cool and firms up a bit.
- In the meantime beat the cheesecake mix again. The sugar will now dissolve easily. Beat until smooth and moderately thick (about 30 seconds).
- Drop dollops of the cream cheese mix into the brownie batter. Swirl with a chopstick - see full post and video on technique!
- Bake at 170ᵒC/338ºF for 33-37 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. You don’t want to over bake these Red Velvet Brownies, so keep a close eye on them. They are done when the cheesecake is set, but not browned. Also, a skewer should test clean, but barely so.
- Slice them up into however many squares you wish. Enjoy!
If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!