These brownies are something I made when I was first getting into cooking as a teenager. And while nowadays I balk slightly at meme-ish food combos (something in me still thinks a brownie is a brownie and a cheesecake is a cheesecake and never the twain shall meet), I can't deny the deliciousness of this one. Somewhere between the creamy cheesecake swirl, the gooey brownie base, and the tangy dots of raspberry, something a bit magical happens in these Franken-brownies. So forgive me for not being a purist here; I think it's justified, just this once.
N.B. These are definitely on the fudgy side, so if you like your brownies cakey, you better look away. For this reason, the brownies also need to be cooled before cutting (really!); I find the flavours improve after cooling too.
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
Makes: one tin of brownies (about 16)
Preparation time: 1 hour
For the brownie batter...
200g vegan dark chocolate (at least 70%)
280g vegan butter
320g caster sugar
40g brown sugar
170g plain white flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
100ml soy milk
1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
For the cheesecake swirl...
225g vegan cream cheese
125ml non-sweet soy or almond milk
1/2 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
2 tbsp caster sugar
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
150g fresh raspberries
1./ Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Grease and line a square pan (c. 8 x 8 inches) with greaseproof paper.
2./ Melt the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or a bain-marie). Stir with a wooden spoon till fully melted.
3./ Sift all the dry ingredients- flour, sugars, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt- into another large bowl. In a third bowl or jug, mix together the milk and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.
4./ In another bowl beat together the cream cheese, milk, half a teaspoon of vanilla, and lemon juice. I prefer to do this with an electric whisk.
5./ Pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the centre of the dry ingredients, mixing as you do, till combined thoroughly. Then incorporate the milk mixture, continuing to stir till a smooth, glossy batter forms.
6./ Pour the batter into the lined tin and dot with spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture (you may not need all of it). Gently swirl the mixtures together using a knife or similar. Scatter raspberries over the top then place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. The brownies should be mostly firm, with just a slight wobble in the middle when shaken.
7./ Leave to cool before cutting. Store in the refrigerator for up to four or five days.
Until next time...