Friday, 21 October 2011
Cherries and chocolate? Ok then. Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
I am relative newcomer to brownies, (and their more enigmatic cousins, blondies) but the more I have baked, the better I have got in producing something which is just the right side of cooked, with a cracked top and a gooey, fudgy inside. As my confidence has grown, the more I have been inclined to experiment with the original and when I saw this recipe I decided that my days as a Brownie rookie were over.
I confess. The thing that attracted me to this is its 'Black Forest Gateau' take. The fact of the matter is that kitsch is good and a black forest gateau is the epitome of culinary kitsch. And Black Forest Gateau is good. Amazingly good. It would have been stupid not to have given them a try.
Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
adapted from 'Baked in America' by David Muniz and David Lesniak
For the chocolate batter:
4oz unsalted butter
12oz semi sweet (milk) chocolate
5 1/2oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
12oz caster sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
6oz dried cherries
For the cream cheese topping:
4oz unsalted butter
8oz cream cheese
6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract or kirsch. (I used kirsch)
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Butter a pan measuring 12x9x2inches (or two tins that make up the same volume, which is what I did). Grease the tin and line with baking parchment.
Cream the butter, cream cheese together on a medium speed until light and fluffy then reduce the speed and add the sugar, eggs, flower and kirsch until smoothly combined. Set aside.
Melt the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering pan of water then remove from the heat.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Then add the melted chocolate mixture, plus the extracts, then stir until combined.
Spread half of the chocolate batter into the prepared tin. Smooth over.
Scatter the dried cherries evenly onto the chocolate batter.
Top with the cream cheese mixture.
Once topped, spoon on the remaining chocolate batter in lumps on top of the cheese mixture. Take a knife and swirl the chocolate batter into the cream cheese topping.
Bake in the oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre emerges 'sort of' clean. The top will be browned and will be slightly puffy. Do not overcook.
Let cool completely before chilling in the fridge for four hours. When cold cut into squares...or rectangles...or whatever suits you.