Monday, July 10, 2017

Baker's Corner: Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies


I am a self-confessed chronic lurker on Instagram. It is solely food that I stalk with an unshakable obsession. What else can I say folks - good old-fashioned food porn is what I seek! 😂 For starter cooks, IG is a reservoir of basic and easy cooking videos and recipes and for the more experienced cooks, it is a great platform to get introduced to complex and luxe dishes using fancy ingredients. For me, most of the inspiration to try out new recipes comes from there.

So, one day, I saw these gorgeous Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies on the feed of The Kitchn and it was love at first sight! It appeared like a work of art and the colors and textures just made perfect sense to me. Brownies are always in huge demand in my home, I love cheesecake in any form and after raspberries, blackberries are my favourite kind of berry. So of course I was going to try this recipe!



I was up relatively early on a Saturday morning. I peeked into my kids room and was relieved to note that they were still sound asleep. I headed to the kitchen and got started on making these brownies. The recipe turned out to be undemanding and even at my own leisurely pace, I was done with making the blackberry puree, the brownie layer and the cheesecake layer by the time they started to stir. After that, they of course wanted to see what the fuss was in the kitchen and "help" me finish (what they described as) the "cake" 😄 I did the swirling of the blackberry puree over the cheesecake layer as my girls intently watched over me (with rather unhelpful inputs may I add) so I didn't do a very good job of it 😛 Next time I'll take a better stab at it (literally speaking!). 

The brownies met my expectations in terms of taste. I felt like the chocolate brownie layer would be too intensely chocolatey for the kids but oh-no! They polished off one and then immediately demanded for another one. Since that day, they have been eager to finish their dinner so that they can eat a small piece of "byownie" for dessert 😂  It is safe to say that they liked it very much indeed 😊 The husband didn't have any negative critique so I was glad to have tried this recipe out for myself.

If you are a fan of anything chocolate as well as cheesecake then this dessert will have to go on your to-do list right away. Go make folks!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Preparation time: 30 min
Baking time: 60 min
Total time: 90 min
Makes: 16 small brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe source: Adapted from Sarah at Broma Bakery


Ingredients:

For the brownies:
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
12 tbsp (170 gm) unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt

For the blackberry puree:
6 oz (170 gm) fresh or frozen blackberries
¼ cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp water

For the cheesecake:
8 ounces (230 gm or 1 cup) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup greek yogurt
1 large egg, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt


Method:

1. Cook blackberry puree by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Use a whisk or spoon to help break down the blackberries. Once cooked, place a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and, using a spatula, squeeze through all of the liquid and dispose of the solids. Let cool to room temperature.




2. Preheat oven to 325°F./ 162°C. Line an 8"x8" square baking dish with greased parchment paper and set aside. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, soften the butter. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Once combined, sift in cocoa powder and flour. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges.





3. Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Cream for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl at the start of the whisking to make sure all the ingredients are uniformly incorporated.

4. Pour over brownie batter, spreading evenly to the edges.


5. Drizzle the blackberry puree on top of the cheesecake batter and swirl randomly using a fork, knife, or toothpick. Try to swirl only into the cheesecake batter, not the brownie batter.


6. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cheesecake begins to turn golden and a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean.


7. Place in fridge and allow to cool for at least 2 hours but up to overnight. Cut into 16 equal sized squares.



Notes:

  • The sugar content in this recipe may seem a bit much but I felt it was just right in the end (and I am someone who doesn't like my desserts too sweet)
  • You can use raspberries or blueberries instead of blackberries
  • You can reduce the cocoa powder to 1/2 cup if you don't like the brownies too intensely chocolatey
  • Store brownies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days


Cheers,
Megha

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