Monday, February 7, 2011
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
I am loving baking from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook right now and the picture in the book of this beautiful 3-layer dessert was the reason I bought the cookbook in the first place. I’m a sucker for frilly pink desserts—what can I say? Luckily, this tasted even better than I’d hoped and I know its one that I will make over and over again. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d share this recipe so you could share this with your significant others, loved ones, friends, relatives, co-workers, or whatever and they will love you forever!
This dessert starts with a fudgy brownie layer, followed by a silky cheesecake layer and then as if that is not rich enough, it’s topped off with a layer of sweetened raspberry whipped cream. Heavenly! I adapted it slightly by using semi-sweet chocolate instead of the bittersweet the recipe called for because that is what I had on hand. I also added a pinch of salt to both the brownie batter and the cheesecake batter and thought it enhanced the flavor of both.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan or line with parchment paper.
6 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used semi-sweet because that is what I had on hand and it worked fine, my brownies were just a little sweeter than the original recipe which I happen to like).
1 stick plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 scant cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
14 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Raspberry Whipped Cream:
1 ¼ cups whipping cream
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 cup raspberries plus extra to decorate
For the brownie layer: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir until melted and smooth. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour and pinch of salt, mixing well after each addition, then turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for a little longer until you get a smooth mixture. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth over with a palette knife.
For the cheesecake layer: Put the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and pinch of salt in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy. The mixer can be turned up to a higher speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier, but be careful not to overmix, otherwise the cheese will split. Spoon on top of the brownie base and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges. In my oven, the cheesecake was done in exactly 30 minutes so make sure not to overcook. The center should still be pale. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
For the raspberry cream topping: Put the cream, sugar, and raspberries in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and beat until firm but not stiff. Turn the brownies out onto a board and turn right-side up. Spread the topping evenly over the brownies and decorate with more raspberries.
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook