An Easy Upgrade: Swirled Matcha-Chocolate Brownies
By Kate Heyhoe
When my chocolate Jones needs a fast fix – and a bigger rush than a chocolate bar can provide – this treat rescues me. It’s the reason why boxed brownie mixes were invented – they deliver a flavor flood that’s quick and also creative, because tinkering with mixes is so easy. (The Cake Mix Doctor’s made a career out of it.)
Matcha tea, that vivid green tea powder with seductive flavor, meets cream cheese in this swirly chocolate brownie. Any chocolate brownie mix works, though super fudgy brownies tend to overpower the matcha. But go with your heart and what’s in your pantry. (And yes, of course you can always make the brownie batter from scratch, instead of a mix.)
The process is simple: Whip up the matcha-cream cheese mixture from scratch, then do the cheat: swirl it on top of the brownie batter, and bake. It takes less than an hour from mix to mouth.
Follow the package directions for the brownie mix, including the oven temperature and pan preparation (such as greasing the pan bottom or whatever it says), and baking time. After you’ve poured the batter into the pan, swirl the Matcha-Cream Cheese batter into the top, and bake.
Matcha-Cream Cheese Batter
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dump all ingredients into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixture (stand or handheld), combine all ingredients. It’s okay if tiny bits of cream cheese remain unblended; I like seeing little white spots poke through the swirl after baking. Let cool. Cut, serve, and swoon.
Swirling tips: Drop clumps of matcha batter on top of brownie batter. Use a knife to draw through the matcha batter and create swirls. If you want green streaks inside the brownies, fold the matcha batter deeper into the brownie layer by rolling the knife down, through, and up.
Ginger Options: If you want to gild the lily, stir 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger into the matcha batter before spreading. You can also mix a teaspoon or so ground ginger into the brownie batter, for twice the ginger flavor.