Which is why I was so surprised that I liked this recipe as much as I did. And I really really like this dessert. It was fairly low on the Dorie fuss factor. I really only needed two bowls and then the pan to bake it in. I followed the recipe almost entirely. The one change I made was to substitute a good bittersweet/orange/almond chocolate for the plain chocolate. A) I had it and B) it sounded like it would work. Oh yeah, and I skipped the topping. Again. This seems to be a habit with me lately. Truthfully, it wasn't missed.
This called for ingredients that I already had. (Psst. If you haven't discovered and purchased espresso powder from King Arthur Flour, you should) The chocolate was probably an impulse buy at one point. The brownie layer is made first. Then the espresso cheesecake. Most of the brownie batter gets spread into the pan with the cheesecake batter next. Mine seemed awfully runny, so I was a tad worried. I don't think I kept out enough brownie batter. My swirls are kind of pitiful. I took these out when they were slightly brown and pulled away from the pan. Just like Dorie said!
The testers really enjoyed this one. The boy was not as enthusiastic. I would certainly make this again. I really liked the way the flavors played against each other. The coffee taste was clear but not overwhelming. The orange added a nice element, and I liked the slight crunch of the almonds. Maybe next time a plain chocolate and add some cinnamon?
Here they are in the pan. They REALLY pulled away from the side. Not so swirly.
Here's one piece. I really need to work on my food photography.
And another piece. Still not so swirly.
Thank you Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell for choosing this yummy dessert.