Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Later with Jules: Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

It was Charlotte's birthday - this called for extreme indulgence.  

One day I will post the full evening's menu, but let's just say it was not for the faint hearted: scallops, critical timings, TWO Ottelenghi dishes - I think it's one for the Kitchen's 'advanced' series.  Watch this space.

So, back to the midnight baking.  I have to begin by congratulating myself for my organisational skills.  Charl's birthday was on a Wednesday, I had to go to Brussels for work on the Monday and Tuesday- so I did  all the shopping the weekend before.  I know I usually advise diving out to the late night shops, but a Keston Lady's birthday isn't just any occasion - the stakes are high so you pull out the stops.
(Unfortunately this meant that a few of the raspberries went mouldy so there wasn't enough to decorate the top.  C'est la vie, eh?)

I decided to do a recipe from the very exciting baking book we bought Rachael for her birthday (a somewhat self-interested present, as is our want in the Kitchen): the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.  This book has a very specific role in the Kitchen, it is what you reach for when you need indulgent girly cakes that are pretty as pie.  Now, I happen to know Charlotte has a penchant for brownies (she's not too big on the drier types of cake - the girl likes it moist), so when I saw the raspberry cheesecake brownie I couldn't resist.

This dessert is VERY GOOD because:
- it is three desserts in one
- it looks very pretty
- you will get gasps of admiration
- raspberry + cheesecake + brownie = genius.  

It is also EASIER THAN IT LOOKS and perfectly lends itself to midnight baking.  Make the brownie cheesecake base, then leave in the fridge overnight, then just before serving whip up the raspberry cream.  Delish.

(NB for reason I cant get the words 'similar recipes' to disappear).
For the brownie:
  • 200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Eggs
  • 110g plain flour

For the cheesecake

  • 400g cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Eggs

For the cream topping

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150g Raspberries, plus extra to decorate
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1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3 

 For the brownie melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water). 

3. Cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer or electric food mixer. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl after each addition. 

4. Gradually beat in the flour then turn the mixer up to high speed for a little longer until the mixture is smooth. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. 

5. Pour the mixture into a 33cm x 23cm x 5cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and smooth over with a palatte knife. 

 For the cheesecake using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and thick. 

7. Add one egg at a time, scraping any unmixed ingredients form the side of the bowl after each addition. Be careful not to overmix as the mixture can split. 

8. Spoon on top of the brownie mixture and smooth over with a palatte knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light and golden around the edges. 

9. Leave to cool completely then cover and refridgerate for 2 hours or overnight if possible. 

For the cream topping beat the cream, sugar and raspberries until firm but not stiff. Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the cheesecake side up. Spread the topping over evenly and decorate with more raspberries. 

The Hummingbird Cookbook, published by Ryland Peters & Small


I can confirm that this was an indulgent dish. Definitely worth making for the pure pleasure and taste. Friends and loved ones will be seriously impressed!

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