Monday, 19 December 2016

Black Forest Cheesecake Swirl Brownies - recipe by Bex

I made this recipe for my Baking Club Christmas do recently and was really pleased with it despite having preheated the oven for 3.5 hours!  (The kids woke from their nap far too early and I kept trying to get the brownies ready to bake, including the kids in helping, but I didn't manage until they went to bed again that evening - an hour early!!)

Anyway, I had the idea of brownies with cherries and had always wanted to try baking something with a swirl of cheesecake so I googled and combined a couple of recipes I found.  One from the American/Ukrainian Let The Baking Begin Blog for the cheesecake part as I liked the sound of adding sour cream but I couldn't be bothered converting all the measurements for the brownie batter too so I used one from Olive Magazine for the main brownie batter, although I did adapt it slightly by adding dried and tinned cherries as well as changing the method after a wasted pan of seized chocolate mixture!

Below you will find my combined and adapted recipe for my version of Black Forest Cheesecake Swirl Brownies:

For the cheesecake filling:

225g cream cheese
80g sour cream
70g sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg

For the brownies:

200g butter, plus extra for greasing
225g light soft brown sugar
200g golden caster sugar 
125g cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
¼ tsp salt 
2 tbsp kirsch or cherry liqueur
4 eggs
125g self-raising flour 
100g dried sour cherries
1/2 tin cherries (optional), de-stoned & halved

For the cream:

whipping cream 300ml
kirsch 2 tbsp (I added 4)
icing sugar 3 tbsp, sifted
1/2 tin cherries (optional), de-stoned and chopped


Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla extract and beat together until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the egg and beat until smooth again.  Put aside.

Preheat oven to 170oC.  Butter a 20 x 30cm baking tin and line with baking parchment.  (I only had square tins so split my mixture between two 20cm square tins, I still baked them for 30 mins.)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the sugars and continue stirring until they start to dissolve.  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring occasionally as the chocolate melts.  Add the cocoa powder and stir to combine.

Cool for 5 minutes then beat in the salt, kirsch and eggs until smooth again (I did this part in my Kitchenaid).  Stir through the flour and cherries, then scrape into the prepared tin(s) and bake for 30 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, prepare a roasting tin of iced water that will fit the brownie tin inside it.  When the brownies have a crisp top and only a slight wobble to the centre still, lift the tin from the oven into the water bath – this will keep the centre soft, but set.  Cool completely in the water.  Run a knife under hot water before drying and using to cut smoothly.  The brownies are nice and gooey which makes them stick to the knife.

To serve, whisk the whipping cream with the kirsch and icing sugar until softly peaked then stir through the cherries.  Dust the brownies with a little icing sugar and cocoa if you like, and add a dollop of kirsch cream with extra fresh cherries to serve.

I was really pleased with how these turned out!  They were squidgy, gooey and rich.  The Kirsch/cherry brandy was a nice addition and the dried sour cherries add a lovely bit of chewy bite to them.

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