Sunday, June 14, 2015

Whole wheat raspberry cheesecake brownies

Raspberries and chocolate are a classic combination. Get a bit of both with these fudgy (whole wheat!) brownies that are topped with a luscious raspberry cheesecake layer!

I didn't eat a lot of berries growing up. Well, with the exception of strawberries. I literally had not tried raspberries, blueberries (other than blueberry muffins), or blackberries as a child. My Asian culture didn't incorporate a lot of these colorful fruits into our diets since they weren't as plentiful in my birth country. As a result, my parents didn't buy these berries at the grocery store even though they were abundant.

I've come to love fresh berries. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I have a thing for blueberry muffins. We eat fresh berries just about every day at home, especially at the peak of the season. One flavor combination I've grown to love is raspberries with chocolate.

Although mint chocolate is my ultimate favorite combination, raspberries and chocolate is a close 2nd.  I love chocolate raspberry ice cream in particular and truffles with raspberry filling. Naturally, brownies with raspberries would be something else that I would love. Rather than just add raspberries or raspberry jam into a standard batch of brownies, I opted to try something new. I wanted a layer of raspberry goodness so I went with a raspberry cheesecake layer instead.

My cheesecake layer turned out a bit soft, but I attribute it to baker's error (me). I didn't let my cream cheese soften enough and may have accidentally overbeat the cheesecake batter. See how the layer curdled a bit? Regardless, the flavors were fantastic, and it even caused my skating BFF to say that these brownies made her top 5 list. She's probably tried 50% of what I've shared on the blog, so this is definitely saying something.


In case you're wondering, the brownies are a bit firmer than your standard brownie. This is done on purpose so your cheesecake layer won't melt into the brownies. The brownies are still fudgy and chewy though, so you don't have to worry on that front. This is a recipe that I will make again, and I am looking forward to experimenting with different flavors.

Whole wheat raspberry cheesecake brownies
Brownie layer
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (can substitute with all-purpose)

Cheesecake layer
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen (thawed) or fresh raspberries, + 1 tablespoon sugar (can substitute with raspberry jam)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously grease and/or line a standard 8"x" baking pan and set aside.

Start by making the cheesecake layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until everything is just incorporated.

In a small bowl, mash the frozen or frozen raspberries with the sugar. Set aside.

In a medium non-stick saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and mix well. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then individually add the eggs and egg yolk and mix well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and salt. Fold in the flour and mix until everything is just incorporated - do not over mix.

Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan. Add the cheesecake layer on top of the brownie layer. Then dollop spoonfuls of berries or jam onto the cheesecake layer. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the raspberries into the cheesecake batter.

Bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake layer is no longer liquidy and jiggily. If you insert a toothpick in the center, it should come out slightly wet.

Allow the brownies to cool before serving. If you can wait, I suggest cooling them completely in the refrigerator before cutting and serving. Garnish with fresh raspberries if desired.

Brownies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep for at least a week.

Disclaimer: Driscoll's provided me with a coupon for a complimentary container of raspberries. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Yield: One 8"x8" pan; about 16 servings

Source: Barely adapted from Texanerin Baking

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