Friday, 27 June 2014

Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I am a great fan of raspberries and love to use them in my cooking when they are in season. As an easily perishable fruit, raspberries can be very expensive to buy, but sometimes when I see them on sale, I find them hard to resist and I am easily seduced by their fruity allure. The ironic thing is that raspberries are relatively easy to grow, yet I have still to apply myself to the task in a focused way. I don’t know why I am so lackadaisical about doing so, because I love to eat them and have little problem in finding ways to use them in my cooking.

Raspberries and chocolate are another of those flavour marriages, which I regularly go on about, that are just meant to be. Fresh raspberries whilst sweet can also have a slight tartness to them which cuts through the richness of many recipes which include chocolate.
 
These brownies are a case in point, being incredibly rich and almost sinfully indulgent to eat… but I love foods like this; you know they are a little naughty, but you just can’t say ‘no’!

The brownies are rich and fudgy; made even more so by the addition of a cheesecake swirl. As such, the brownies are perfect for serving as a dessert and they work very well served with a dollop of cream or a scoop of raspberry sorbet.

When cooking brownies, I would always advise removing them from the oven when they seem to be still slightly undercooked. Cakey brownies tend to be dry to eat and the whole point of brownies is that they are slightly moist and gooey. This is a relatively simple recipe so provided you follow the timings that I have given, you should have no problems.
 

Ingredients:

Brownie mixture:
200g dark chocolate melted and allowed to cool slightly
200g butter softened
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
115g plain flour, sifted
Cheesecake:
400g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
125g fresh raspberries
 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line a square 23cm x 23cm x 6cm shallow tin with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
Chocolate brownies:
2. Using a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, stir in the melted chocolate. Fold in the flour, making sure that it is well incorporated.
3. Spread two-thirds of the brownie mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing it out.
Cream cheese mixture:
4. In a separate bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together until the mixture is smooth.
5. Spread the cheesecake in a layer over the brownie in the prepared tin. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie mixture randomly over the top. Use a skewer to swirl the cheesecake mixture and the chocolate mixture together. Press the raspberries into the top and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the mixture is cooked through and risen. (Note: It is the nature of brownies not to be cakey but to be more fudgy in texture, so remove from the oven before they are completely set… they will continue cooking as they cool).
6. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.
 
Makes 16.