Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


CheeseCakeBrownies-8Have you noticed the amazing array of cakes, biscuits, brownies and slices that are available all over Brisbane? There was a time when everything was sourced from the same commercial bakery, but not anymore. I find it inspiring to see what creativity there is in kitchens all over Australia.

One morning I was out at Milk Bar Cafe in Ashgrove enjoying my coffee, when I peered into the cabinet and saw these amazing delights. Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies! What more could you want than the combination of two decadent treats! I ordered one on the premise I needed to try some for research reasons! Mmmmmm so delicious. When I returned home with what I guessed would be the right ingredients, I did a bit of research and started baking. I changed the recipe so that the top and bottom should work out to be of equal proportions now. This one I photographed was a bit thin on top.

CheeseCakeBrownies-6So here is the recipe… enjoy!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

(as high percent cocoa as possible)

500g castor sugar

(free range)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 25 x 25cm tin.

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream the butter and 350g of the caster sugar until pale, then add 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour. Spread three-quarters of the mixture into the lined pan. Bash down on the counter top a few times to make it as flat as possible.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth, then spread over the chocolate base.

Poke the raspberries into the top and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

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Place in fridge overnight and cut into squares in the morning.

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Deconstructed Blueberry Tart with Coconut Cream


IMG_1812bI have noticed how many things have changed with blogging. When I first started, I was not offered free food samples, I was not invited along to restaurants, food shows, radio shows and other events. No one even knew I existed. It was just me and my computer. I have been writing about recipes and my travels for over five years now and it has just become more and more fashionable to be a food blogger.

I wrote up my recipes as a way of recording what I was doing. The fact that anybody was interested was a huge bonus. Then came Twitter and Instagram and on some days, I feel like it is all a big competition. Who has the most “likes” “followers” “visits”. I am not sure that I am ready to tackle all of this. Then there is the ethics of accepting gifts, and whether to make something with the product and promote it or not. I always try to make it obvious that I have been given the product but sometimes I wonder why I am promoting someone’s product? For all these reason and more I have not been posting weekly like a usually do.

So, I have decided to “Keep It Simple Stupid!” and get back to cooking and the recipes.

This recipe was inspired by some tart pastry that I made. I grated the zest of a lime through the dough and it made it fresh and zingy! Blueberries are in season and so cheap at the moment, so I included lots of these sprinkled on the top. I thought it made a nice change to make something everyone could dig into with a spoon. A share dessert.

IMG_1814bRecipe

Pastry

  • 225g / 8 oz plain flour
  • 110g / 4 oz butter
  • 80g / 3 oz sugar
  • a little milk
  • 1 large egg
  • zest from one lime

Method

 Crumb together by hand the butter into the flour, add the sugar then mix in the egg and enough milk to form a soft dough – add lime zest.

Roll this out to a shape that you are happy with. I pressed a few cookie shapes out of the sides too. Place on the middle rack of the 175C oven for 10-15 mins.

Coconut Cream

For the Coconut Cream you will need a can of coconut cream and 250ml of cream for whipping.

Method

Take the thick part of the coconut cream from the top of the can and whip it until it looks like whipped cream.

Whip the cream and then combine with a tablespoon of icing sugar.

To assemble

Carefully place a sheet of pastry on a board or platter. Place a big dollop of the coconut cream where ever you think it looks nice, and sprinkle blueberries all over it. Dust with icing sugar and serve with lots of spoons. Share and enjoy!

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Marinated Artichokes


Image 9We are Big fans of artichokes in this household. I was introduced to them in France when my parents lived there. They served them in a bowl with a cheesy sauce to dip the leaves in. Later I enjoyed them several ways, smaller ones fried whole, stuffed with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and of course when they are out of season we buy the marinated ones. They are very expensive. When I was out at the fruit shop on Monday I saw big boxes of artichokes for $20 and I quickly purchased it, I wish I had bought two now. When I had my treasure home I decided to marinate half of the box as this would last longer and save me money. Don’t know if we could have eaten all those artichokes, before they went bad.

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Recipe

Ingredients

As many artichokes as you can find, at least 10

small artichokes would be better but as long as you clean and cut the bigger ones down they are fine.

lots of olive oil.

preserved lemon or lemon rind (see my other recipe for preserved lemon) several pieces for each jar

chopped garlic,  at least one clove per jar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar per jar

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Method

I had never marinated artichokes before but thought it would not be that hard! I just peeled all the tough leaves off from the outside and then cut as shown in the first photograph. Then I boiled them in a big saucepan of water with lemon juice, salt and peppercorns until really soft, all the way through.

Then drain and leave to cool.

Meanwhile clean your jars and lids.

Set the jars up and carefully spoon the artichokes into the jars and add preserved lemon and garlic in between the artichokes and a little salt. When the jar is full, pour your olive oil over slowly until almost at the top. Then add the teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

These will be delicious the next day and only get better over time.

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