Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Imagine this~ two tasty desserts combined into one. Chocolate Brownies and Cheesecake. Simply heavenly - sinfully delicious~~ I made chocolate cheesecake muffins before which is chocolate muffins with a cheesecake topping but this dessert is up the next level. Imagine the rich chocolaty brownie swirled with delicate cream cheese. Hmm....... I'll leave that to your imagination!

Chocolate Brownie
85g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
115g dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature if possible)
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (Dutch Processed ones if possible, unsweetened only!)
1/8 teaspoon salt (or a pinch)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Can't really find in Brunei anymore, so I used Galliano, vanilla liqueur)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or dark chocolate cut into very small chunks)

CreamCheese Filling
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons (75g) caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (Galliano)


1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).

2) Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, stirring until smooth.

3) Beat in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.

4) Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5) In a separate bowl, prepare the cream cheese fillin. Beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6) Distribute the cream cheese filling mixture on the brownie mixture, and use a blunt knife to swirl, combining them - like a marbling effect.

7) Bake for 35 minutes or until centre of the cake is set.

I love these silicon bakeware! Great investment I tell ya! Wipe some butter though for easier release.

Melting the softened butter with the chocolate.

Adding chocolate chunks to the brownie batter

Pour batter into silicon moulds~

Prepare the cream cheese filling

Technically, supposed to drop the creamcheese fillings in 5-6 big spoonfuls spreaded around evenly but I was lazy so I just dump the whole thing at the centre. Use a butter knife or spoon to swirl the mixture.

Tadaa! The wonders of silicon bakeware! Easy Release!


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Kota Kinabalu Review: Grazie and Little Italy

When asked about where to eat in Kota Kinabalu, friends always recommend Little Italy. A place that is just opposite Wisma Merdeka. A good place to eat Italian pasta and pizzas.

Little Italy's Menu

Walls and paintings gives this cafe a feel of Italy.

I ordered the set lunch which gives you free garlic bread and soup of the day for every pasta you ordered (except for the raviolis)

Hmm... Thin Crispy Pizza. In my opinion, better than Fratinis.

I ordered Squid Ink Seafood Pasta. This dish has a very strong seafood taste and is not for everyone. Most people would not even touch it but hey - give it a shot if you're a seafood lover.

Overall, I would come back to try other pasta and pizza dishes again here, especially their Raviolis which I did not get to try because I was already stuffed! Must remember to try their desserts next time as well! Table service was prompt and friendly.

Another Cafe that comes highly recommended is Grazie. My KK friends highly recommend this place and insist I must try it. It is located a few blocks away from Marina Court Apartments, and is opposite or next to the Celcom building.

Prices are quite affordable, if you consider the exchange rates nowadays.

The place is a nice open air style cafe so during lunch time, it gets a little warm here. Dress casually, like tourists; comfy Tshirts and short pants.

Smile Mona Lisa~ Smile~~

Pastas and Pizzas are made fresh here. I think it's a slow afternoon, so they made our pastas on the spot~ hmm...

Our appetizer is Tuna Carpaccio, which is sashimi grade sliced tuna, drizzles with extra virgin olive oil and pesto. Seriously good stuff! Tastes great with crispy bread or on it's own.

I ordered Canneloni, pasta sheets wrapping mince beef (popiah or spring roll style), and baked in a cheesy sauce.

Simply Ooomph!

Roasted Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic Sauce. Soft, succulent and juicy with the hint of rosemary.

Beef Tenderloin with herbs and mushroom sauce. As you can see, it's cooked to just the way I like it, medium where you can still see the slight pink in the middle so that it retains some of it's juices. Mama Mia~ Bon Appetit !

Simply delightful Tiramisu. A must try in this cafe as well.

Grazie's ambience and decor really won me over despite it being an open air cafe. Their service was really prompt and the food arrived almost all at more or less the same time. Note that we did have to wait 20-30 minutes for the main course to arrive but the appetizers kept us busy. The food is really good and I highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Kota Kinabalu. I would definitely come back here to sample their other dishes again!

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