A marvelous recipe that I’ve wanted to try out since my trip to Bandung, Indonesia in May.
Brownie kukus is made famous by a bakery in Bandung. I bought some from Amanda Brownies in Bandung and I really enjoyed the original flavor. The strawberry flavor was not that nice, since the strawberry chocolate ganache was made using inexpensive chocolate that tasted oddly plastic when cold. Urgh.
My friend and myself had wanted to buy the strawberry cheesecake brownie but the shop assistant mistakenly took the strawberry chocolate brownies. By the time we discovered the error, we were back in Singapore. Buying brownies was the last thing on the agenda before we fly back, as we wanted the brownies as fresh as possible. No time for checking, since we were rushing. Sigh.
Since I couldn’t sample the strawberry cheesecake brownies, I searched the internet for a recipe I could use. I used 2 sources for the recipe below.
- 5 eggs
- 50 grams all-purpose flour
- 50 grams cocoa
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 120 grams butter (I used 60 grams Wijsman butter & 60 grams Elle et Vire unsalted butter)
- 50 grams chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja 70%)
- 125 grams castor sugar
- 2 tbsp condensed milk
- 250 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 50 grams unsalted butter, softened but cool
- 50 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
- 50 grams castor sugar
- 1 egg
- Line and grease a 8 x 8 x 3 inches pan. Prepare a large steamer with enough water to boil for 60 minutes. Cover the lid of the steamer with a large kitchen cloth or towel, to prevent water from dripping into the cake during steaming.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Once everything has melted, remove from heat and stir in condensed milk. Set aside to cool.
- Start boiling the water in the steamer, using medium heat.
- Whisk eggs with sugar on high speed until pale and tripled in volume. This should take around 10 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.
- Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Reduce speed of mixer to low and gradually drizzle butter mixture in. Beat for 1 minute until combined.
- Gradually add in dry ingredients and beat for a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Beat for 15 seconds.
- Weigh the batter. Pour 1 portion into the prepared pan. Mine was 345 grams per layer.
- Bang pan on the counter for a few times to get rid of large bubbles.
- Steam brownie for 10 minutes. While the brownie is steaming, prepare the cheesecake portion.
- Beat cream cheese, butter, egg and sugar for 5 minutes until combined.
- Add in flour and beat for another 5 minutes until smooth.
- Carefully remove the steamed brownie from the steamer after 10 minutes.
- Spread cheesecake portion over the steamed brownie and spread it evenly with an offset spatula.
- Return the pan to the steamer and steam for another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, pour in the second portion of the brownie and steam for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, check whether the cake is done by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake. It should come out clean. If not ready, steam for another 5 minutes.
- Once done, turn off the heat and carefully open the lid by a small crack, allowing steam to escape. Keep the brownie in the steamer for another 3 minutes to prevent excessive shrinkage.
- Remove brownie from the steamer after 3 minutes and cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before removing and cooling completely.
- Let brownie cheesecake cool completely before cutting.
I must say, this homemade version tastes so much better than store-bought ones! For one thing, you control the ingredients that go in and I do not like to use cake improver or emulsifier when baking/steaming. It is almost certain the store-bought ones contain these.
What I love about this recipe is the small amount of baking powder used. The cake is soft, moist and utterly chocolaty-delicious. You must use the best quality cocoa and chocolate that you can get.
The original brownie kukus version is exactly the same recipe as above, without the cheesecake. Chocolate rice or shavings are sprinkled on top of the first portion (after the 10 minute steaming) and steamed for 5 minutes, before pouring on the second portion. This creates the distinctive chocolate fudge in the middle. Whoever created this recipe should be given an award!
This cake is a chocoholic’s delight. If you have a sweet tooth, you can increase the sugar used in the brownie. The original recipe was 225 grams, which I felt was a bit too much for me. I like this reduced sugar version, since less sugar places more emphasis on the taste of chocolate. But next time I make this, I will try increase the sugar to 140 grams or add another tablespoon of condensed milk, or use 55% cocoa chocolate. Hmm..all the different flavors for this brownie I could try..strawberry, kiwi, raspberry, coconut, orange. So many! 🙂