June 17, 2010

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Now I know I said my favorite cheesecake is the Dulce de Leche cheesecake from the Factory, but the close runner up is their white chocolate raspberry; so decadent, rich and satisfying I always have to sneak a bite from my sister as it's her favorite that she repeatedly orders. So considering that the closest Cheesecake Factory is over an hour away and I was craving this heavenly dessert, I set out on a mission to whip up my own version.

After searching endlessly for a somewhat similar recipe, or one other than the Kraft one that kept showing up on my search results (thanks Google....), I stumbled upon one that was close to what I wanted- only one big problem though, it was an English Recipe so all of the measurements were in grams and milliliters, and the brownies were dark chocolate.

So after doing home grueling conversions, or simply typing it into a converter online... and tweaking the chocolates and other flavors, I ended up creating possibly one of my top 5 desserts I've ever made. Oh, and my sister, she was in heaven and proclaimed it her new favorite dessert, saying how it would be perfect for easter due to the soft hues of color, or her birthday, or basically any time she wanted it...thanks Jacks.

But really, make this! It's not hard, but does use quite a few bowls, although they really are completely worth it. Sometimes you find that white chocolate can be a little too sweet, but that's not the case here. The brownie base complements the cheesecake layer so well it's almost as if they were meant to be together. And the raspberry cream...it really is indescribable, you have to try for yourself to experience it :)

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

For brownie layer:
8 oz. good white chocolate
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
3 eggs
2/3 cup flour

For cheesecake layer:
2 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs

For raspberry cream topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup fresh/frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9x13in. baking dish then line with parchment paper for easy removal.

Depending on how you prefer to melt chocolate (either in a double boiler with the chocolate in a heat proof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water or microwaving for 25 seconds at a time on low heat, stirring after each increment until melted smooth) melt the chocolate and allow to somewhat cool while you prepare the rest of the brownie layer.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. After achieving this point, add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Gradually beat in the flour and then the melted chocolate. Spread over the bottom of the baking dish.

Next, blend the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy and all of the sugar is mixed in well with no lumps. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time. Spread this mixture on top of the white brownie layer.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cheesecake topping is firm to a touch and the edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool thoroughly before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Finally to top it all off, literally, mash the raspberries through a sieve, discarding the juices and simply keeping the raspberry parts. Whip those along with the heavy cream and sugar (you can even add a splash of your favorite raspberry liquor to intensify the flavor) and spread on top of the cheesecake layer. Allow to cool/set overnight in the fridge then enjoy!

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