I'm going to have to think of a snappier title for these brownies, because I will certainly be making them again.
This brownie was created on an evening of snack frustration. I had the star ingredients for all my favourite desserts in the fridge, but was one thing short of everything needed to make them properly. Cream cheese to make cheesecake, but no biscuits to make the base. Raspberries and chocolate to make a chocolate torte, but not quite enough chocolate. I'd also made some dulce de leche earlier in the day, to go into a banoffee pie, then remembered too late that you need a whipped cream topping. Oh and some bananas that weren't green and unyielding. Rather than going to the local corner shop, this was my solution.
I've had dealings with cheesecake brownies before. They are extremely rich, so I thought that adding raspberries would cut through the creaminess, add more interest and texture. The dollop of dulce de leche added to the cheesecake was just for the hell of it and if you're making anything with caramel, it's now the law that you have to throw some salt in there.
So there are lot of different things going on, but they pull together to form a super-loaded brownie that has something for everyone.
I used frozen raspberries in the recipe below, mainly because you can crumble them to pieces in your hand, saving the faff of chopping them up.
If you don't have a brownie pan, use an 8 inch square cake tin. This will make thicker brownies and you will need to increase the baking time by 5 minutes.
Raspberry & Salted Caramel Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 24 small brownies
Ingredients for the brownie batter
110 grams dark chocolate
110 grams unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
125 grams light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 grams plain flour
75 grams frozen raspberries, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
Ingredients for the salted caramel cheesecake mixture
200 grams full fat cream cheese
75 grams caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
75 grams dulce de leche
pinch of salt
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-forced) and place the oven rack on the middle shelf.
2. Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm brownie pan.
3. Place a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and use this to melt the dark chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally. The bowl should be large enough to incorporate ingredients being added later: I use a Pyrex bowl with a 1 litre capacity.
4. Once the chocolate and butter is almost all melted take it off the heat (the last pieces will continue to melt in the warmed bowl).
5. Add the caster sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt; stir again until the sugar is absorbed and dissolved and set aside to cool.
6. Sieve the flour and set aside.
7. Make the cheesecake mixture by beating together the cream cheese and caster sugar (this is easily done by hand with a large whisk, or use an electric hand-held mixer).
8. Once combined, beat in the egg yolk, then beat in the dulce de leche. Set aside.
9. Return to the chocolate mixture, which by this time, will have cooled a little.
10. Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour until well incorporated and a batter has formed.
11. Pour the chocolate brownie batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread evenly into the corners.
12. Sprinkle the raspberry pieces across the surface of the batter.
13. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the surface of the brownie batter and raspberries, again using a spatula to spread this into the corners.
14. Using figure of eight movements, use a large metal spoon to fold and 'cut' the mixture to create a marbling effect. No need to be to precious about this; the fun of this cake is the varying cheesecake:brownie:raspberry ratio you get in each piece.
15. Sprinkle salt over the surface of the batter.
16. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
17. When the middle of the batter has set with a slight wobble and the edges of the cake are starting to come away from the sides, it can be removed from the oven.
18. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the tin, before cutting into squares.
19. Brownies can be frozen on the day of baking.
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