Gooey. Fudgy. Squidgy. Chocolatey. Hedonistic. Lush. Try as you might, there’s no one-word that truly encapsulates what a chocolate brownie is. It’s a humble thing made with humble ingredients, but it deserves adjectives. If you don’t offer them up initially, it will illicit them from you after the first bite.
I made these to take to a friend’s house, so I wanted to turn the decadence up to eleven. Enter, blackberry compote and a cheesecake topping. I kept the cheesecake layer fairly thin, just so they travelled better and didn’t detract from the brownies. Each mouthful was cut with the creamy sweet cheese, which I thought was spot on. However, there’s no reason not to increase the cheesecake mix so that you get a thicker more defined layer.
I can’t stress enough, how important it is to use decent chocolate. With this recipe, you’ll get out of it what you put in. And don’t skimp on the chocolate either. And for the love of God, don’t even consider swapping out some of the chocolate for cocoa powder. If you want those first-bite adjectives, you’ll have to treat this recipe with the respect it deserves.
RECIPE: Blackberry Brownies with a Cheesecake Topping
SOURCE: Hungry Girl por Vida
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Squidgy, fudgy and chocolatey, with pops of tart blackberry and a thin layer of creamy cheesecake.
GOES GREAT WITH: These brownies are very rich, so they don’t really need anything else… Okay, if you’re feeling particularly naughty or you want to turn your cheat day up to eleven – maybe a scoop of ice-cream would be nice… and a drizzle of chocolate sauce… and a glass of Brandy…
NOTES: If you want a fudgier consistency, bake for 35 minutes. If you prefer your brownies a bit firmer with more of a cakey texture, bake for 40 minutes. I baked mine for 40 minutes, as I was cutting them up and taking them along as a gift.
MAKES: 10 – 12 brownies
For the Compote:
- 115g (4oz) BLACKBERRIES
- 35g (1.2oz) GRANULATED WHITE SUGAR
- ½ tsp. CORNFLOUR
- ¾ tsp. LEMON JUICE
For the Brownie mix:
- 190g (6.7oz) DARK CHOCOLATE, good quality, broken up.
- 75g (2.6oz) BUTTER
- 135g (4.8oz) GOLDEN GRANULATED SUGAR, (or use white sugar)
- 2 EGGS, large
- ½ tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
- 70g (2.5oz) PLAIN FLOUR
- 15g (0.5oz) COCOA POWDER
- ¼ tsp. BAKING POWDER
- Pinch SALT
For the Cheesecake Topping:
- 150g (5.3oz) CREAM CHEESE
- 35g (1.2oz) POWDERED SUGAR
- 1 EGG
- ¼ tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
- First make the Compote: Put the BLACKBERRIES, SUGAR, CORNSTARCH and LEMON JUICE in a small saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes until the blackberries have broken down and the sugar has dissolved and reduced. Remove from the heat and leave aside.
- Make the Brownie mix: Line a 20x30cm tin with baking paper. Sit a large heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with two inches of water in the bottom. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Add 170g CHOCOLATE (20g is saved for later) and BUTTER to the bowl. Turn the heat medium-high and let the chocolate and butter melt, stirring occasionally. When it has melted, take away from the heat and leave aside.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the GRANULATED SUGAR, EGGS and VANILLA EXTRACT until it is light and creamy. Stir in the FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, COCOA and SALT.
- Fold in the CHOCOLATE-BUTTER mix until it is fully incorporated and there are no remaining white streaks. Pour into the prepared tin. Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Make the Cheesecake Topping: In a mixing bowl, whisk the CREAM CHEESE and POWDERED SUGAR. Add the EGG and VANILLA EXTRACT. Spread mixture on top of brownie batter.
- Spoon the Blackberry Compote on top and swirl with a skewer. Grate the remaining 20g CHOCOLATE on top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 180c.