Once again, it’s been way too long since my last blog post, and once again, there’s much to update. This past spring, summer and fall have just flown by with me chasing the dust. Actually, so much has happened over the last few months that I should feel like I have run a marathon, but in fact I feel quite well rested. I guess this is because right now is after the fact and my sole responsibilities presently are to relax and recharge for the year ahead.
So I finally did it. I experienced what living and working in Asia would be like. And you know what? I think I could live there. Just not quite yet. The summer proved to be a valuable experience for me to grow personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to live alone in a foreign country (Hong Kong), to experience working full-time in investment banking, and to meet mentors and friends I would keep for the rest of my life.
That I’ve entered senior year is a scary, albeit also exciting, thought. To be honest, I’ve always been jealous of the freshmen every year, seeing that they have four years ahead of them in Hanover – four wonderful years of discovery, learning, and fun that whirl by in a flash. But truthfully, now I am ready to graduate, and to start a fresh life in a new city. I am excited for the opportunity to work in New York City upon graduation – a city that I think is so enchanting to the level that some friends find irrational. I’m also excited to begin my career in investment banking, a field where I can continue to learn and grow as an individual.
Another update from the past few months is my newfound fondness for cheesecake, something I was never a huge fan of. It must be my taste buds becoming evermore American. I decided to try this recipe that combines elements from both cheesecake and brownies. If you’re ever deciding between the two, this recipe is chocolatey enough to satisfy your brownie craving and creamy enough to beat any cheesecake.
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
3. First prepare the cheesecake topping. In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar and the vanilla until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Next, beat in the egg until well mixed. Set aside.
4. To make the brownie layer, put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75 percent power for 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted.
5. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
6. Combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg whites, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated and the batter is thick and glossy. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until blended.
7. Set aside 1/2 cup brownie batter for the top. Scrape the remaining brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake mixture evenly over top. Drop the reserved brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Using the back of a spoon, create a marbled effect by swirling it through the two batters.
8. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is just set. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares to serve.