Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

Wow your friends with these chocolate cherry cheesecake brownies. This all American inspired recipe mixes sweet almonds and cherries with dark chocolate.

Baked in America
From the book Baked in America
By David Lesniak & David Muniz
Buy on Amazon

Introduction

To nitpick, these should be called Black Forest Brownies, especially because we use kirsch to add flavour. If that’s not your thing, leave it out. Ditto the almond extract, but really think on that one before you do. It brings out the cherry, which pairs beautifully with chocolate, one of the few fruit/chocolate combinations we enjoy.

Makes 12

Ingredients

For the chocolate batter:
4oz / 115g / ½ cup unsalted butter
12oz /340g / 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
5½oz / 160g / 1 cup all-purpose or plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs
12oz / 340g / 1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
6oz / 175g / 1 cup dried cherries
For the cream cheese topping:
4oz / 115g / ½ cup unsalted butter
8oz / 225g / about 1 cup cream cheese
6oz / 175g / ¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 tbsp all-purpose or plain flour
1 tbsp kirsch or vanilla extract

Essential kit

You will need a 12 x 9 x 2in/30 x 23 x 5cm pan and an electric mixer.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter a pan, 12 x 9 x 2in/30 x 23 x 5cm, and line the bottom and 2 sides with parchment.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and slowly add the sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla, blending until just combined. You want a nice, smooth, creamy mixture, not a frothy one. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar on medium speed until slightly thickened. Reduce the speed and slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined. Stir in the melted chocolate, vanilla and almond extracts.

Spread half the chocolate batter in the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the cherries over the batter evenly and press them slightly into the batter. Pour the cream-cheese mixture over the cherries and swish it around to distribute it evenly. Sometimes we just jiggle the pan so the topping settles. With a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop the remaining batter over the cream-cheese mixture. Using a knife, gently swirl the batter and topping together. It’s fine if cherries get dislodged. Less swirling will, oddly enough, yield a bolder marbled effect.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is slightly puffy and just starting to brown. A small knife will emerge sort of clean from the center. Any streaks on the knife should look set, as opposed to uncooked. Let cool completely before chilling in the fridge for about 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Cut into 3in/8cm squares.

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