Monday, February 13, 2012

A Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies...

After my trip to Indy followed by a week at home by myself while Michael was visiting his family in Houston, I'm finally getting back into my normal dinner routine starting tonight!! I'll have some fun recipes coming up in here later this week, but for now? I'm going to share one my most popular...and favorite...posts from last year: Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies. Just that roll around in your head for a few your mouth watering? 

These brownies are divine...they combine a fudgy brownie base studded with white chocolate and a layer of cheesecake that's infused with tart raspberries. They're decadent and rich...a little piece goes a long way! This is a good thing, by the way. Make sure to use really good-quality chocolate for the best results. I used Green & Black's organic 70% dark chocolate and white chocolate bars and was thrilled with the results. These brownies are so good that you might just get lucky if you make these for your Valentine tomorrow...if you can tear them away from the brownies, that is!!L

Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
from Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Recipes

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8x8 pan with parchment. Melt 2.5 sticks of butter and 6 ounces Green & Black's 70% dark chocolate in the microwave. This takes about 2 minutes; stir well to combine into a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool for a few minutes while you get the rest of the brownie components going.

Step 2:  Add 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and a pinch of salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture on top and mix until smooth. Beat five large eggs in a separate bowl; add to the brownie mixture, along with 2 tsp. vanilla and 3.5 ounces chopped Green & Black's white chocolate. Whisk well to combine and pour into the parchment-lined pan.

Step 3:  Make the cheesecake mixture by combining 11 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2 large eggs until creamy. I did this in my Kitchen Aid mixer using the paddle attachment. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie mixture in the pan, making an even layer. Add 6 ounces raspberries on top of the cheesecake mixture. I laid individual berries in rows and pushed them into the batter to ensure an even distribution of the raspberries.

Step 4:  Bake until the middle of the brownies is just set. For me, this took about 50 minutes...but the original recipe says 30-40 minutes. Go by sight...the cheesecake should be golden brown, and the middle should just barely wiggle. Place aluminum foil on top of the pan and let the brownies cool on the counter for about an hour. After the brownies have cooled, carefully remove them from the pan using the parchment as a sling. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut into 16 brownies. 

Step 5:  Place the brownies on a serving plate. If you aren't serving them right away, I recommend storing them in the fridge. Remove about 15 minutes before you're ready to serve to allow them to come back to room temp. Look at those layers of flavor! 

The brownie layer is dense with a very pronounced chocolate flavor since it has only 1/2 cup of flour. The chunks of white chocolate provide a nice, sweet counterbalance. The cheesecae topping is slightly creamy, and the raspberries provide a nice tart bite. Add it all up, and you've got one fantastic brownie on your hands. It doesn't hurt that they also look very pretty on the plate!

I'm thinking that next time, a smidge of raspberry liqueur would be a really nice addition to the brownie base. You could also sub in blackberries or quartered strawberries if you're not a raspberry fan. However you make them...just make you you do make these brownies! And if you get lucky as a result, you can thank me later...

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