Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


It’s almost the end of Easter, and with exams growing ever closer I’ve turned into a bit of a hermit. I’ve resorted to alternating revision with stress relief (procrasti)baking and blogging. Your waistlines can thank me later.

Over the weekend, I developed a pretty fierce craving for rich, decadent brownies and decided that raspberry cheesecake brownies sounded even better. I’ve taken my favourite brownie recipe and adapted it by simply swirling some vanilla cheesecake mix through the batter and topping with raspberries before baking.

My base brownie recipe uses a mixture of both cocoa powder and chocolate for the ultimate richness of flavour. Although the recipe involves beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy before adding the eggs, flour and chocolate etc… (which, to those of you familar with baking methods, makes it sound more like a recipe for a sponge than brownies) the lack of raising agents means that there is very little allowed to lighten the load here -this is pure, unalterated, chocolatey goo.

If you’re short for time you can resort to the ‘all in one’ method, which essentially involves chucking all of your ingredients into a bowl and beating thoroughly so that they are fully incorporated.  Although this will produce an equally tasty brownie, I’ve found that taking the time to beat the batter vigorously after adding the eggs helps to create a meringue like outer layer which rises as the mixture bakes forming an irresistibly crisp crust around the rich, fudgey chocolate centre.

Recipe

For the brownies:

200g good quality dark chocolate

250g block butter (salted)

300g caster sugar

60g cocoa powder

60g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 eggs + 1 egg yolk

For the cheesecake topping:

100g cream cheese

1 tbsp mascarpone

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

150g raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees(c), and line a 23cm x 23cm square tin with greased proof paper.
  2. Set a bowl over a pan of simmering water making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Add the chocolate (broken into pieces) and allow to melt, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Increase the speed on the mixer to high and continue to beat the mixture for a few mixture until the volume increases slightly.
  5. Fold in the melted chocolate followed by the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, caster sugar and vanilla essence.
  7. Spoon the brownie batter into the tin and then top with the cheesecake mixture. Using a knife or spoon swirl the cheesecake mix into the top layer of brownie batter (you may not need all of the cheesecake mix) and then top with raspberries before baking.
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes (a skewer should come out sticky, but not coated in raw mixture). When the brownies are ready remove from the oven and allow to cool (and set) before removing from tin and transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Happy baking x

Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Tarts

I found this recipe in the Konditor and Cook cookbook and it’s now one of my favourite go-to recipes. They’re seriously easy to make and would be worthy of any French patisserie!

Photo 11-08-2014, 10 24 48

The shortcrust pastry is probably the hardest element in the recipe but the principles are simple. All of your ingredients must be cold and you should mix as little as possible to avoid a tough dough.


I make the pastry by hand however a food processor will also work if you’re short for time!

50g caster sugar

1 medium egg yolk

100g salted butter, cut into cubes

150g plain flour

Method

  1. Put the sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl, combine briefly with a wooden spoon and then add the cold cubed butter. Using the spoon or your fingers blend them until they come together. Sift in the flour and quickly work everything into a dough.
  2. Shape into ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3-4mm thick and use to line small tart tins.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 175°C/gas mark 4 then line the pastry case with kitchen foil, draping it over the edges a little and fill with baking beans or rice.
  6. Bake blind for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Lift out the foil with the beans or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

The pastry shrinks slightly as it bakes so I tend to trim the edges AFTER the blind bake, it ensures the pastry lines the case  fully and gives a clean finish.
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

For the tart

75g unsalted butter

300ml double cream

250g (good quality) dark chocolate, chopped

200g raspberries

For the decoration

75g white chocolate, chopped

Fresh raspberries

For the filling

  1. In a saucepan on low heat melt the butter, then add the cream and bring to near boiling point.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until fully melted and a smooth ganache.
  3. Pour into the tart cases and smooth out with a palette knife if needed.

To decorate

  1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, or in a microwave. (If using a microwave be very careful, white chocolate burns easily)
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe the white chocolate in S or zigzag shapes over the top of the tart starting wide then getting narrower towards the end. Using a toothpick or skewer create some feathered swirls, Florentine paper style.
  3. Top with raspberries
  4. Chill the tart until ready to serve.

Happy baking!