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14 September 2015

Blueberry Cheesecake Brownies with Lindt-y Goodness


I know everyone says you shouldn't say you hate Mondays, what you really mean is you hate your job but the truth is I don't hate my job (truth be told I quite like it, FYI I'm a secret agent) I just really dislike Mondays. I'd say it's nothing personal but that'd be a lie. Mondays made it personal when they started coming after Sundays and cutting my weekend short.

On a sad Monday (any Monday that isn't either Christmas or when you're on holiday) there are only two things I want to do, watch Harry Potter and eat cake, preferably chocolate but I'm open to carrot. Anyway as I recently said in this post (say blackberry no churn ice cream, click your heels and the link will appear) I recently made brownies for the first time to celebrate the birth of my brand spanking 3 month new niece (which I went on to recreate for her baptism, bless her holy watered head). It's not like me to ever play it safe, so of course I had to go big or go home. As I was already home, the only option was to go big on the flavour with these brownies, thus Blueberry Cheesecake Brownies were born.  



You might be thinking, how did you leap to that decision. Well having sampled lots of brownies, including my good friend Sophie's (self-titled brownie queen who coincidentally sent me home with a care package of cake last Friday), I knew cheesecake brownies were the way forward. It's like combining the two ultimate desserts, brownies and cheesecake, all you need is for it to be encased in cream and a choux bun and you'd have the one dessert to rule them all. Sally (blogger from The Cat Café and employee of Lindt) had sent me some bars of Lindt's Blueberry Intense Dark Chocolate, along with lots of other Lindt goodies, which I was itching to try. Eating dark chocolate on it's own can be a bit too strong for me (not for my boyfriend Dan he wolfs it down) but this blueberry bar was just delicious with some sweet slivers of almonds, so into the brownie it had to go.

I also had a dream. A dream to create a blueberry cheesecake topping. A dream that required blueberries. This was bought on by the desire to incorporate more swirling in my baking life after 2015's Blackberry Ripple No Churn Ice Cream. A dream that was made possible by my determination to buy blueberries and mix them with cheese cake topping, and a love for sieving jam. All of this is rubbish, I just wanted to do it so I did. You hear me dreamers stop dreaming, make it happen then dream about how great you are (modesty in full flow here). There's just something really satisfying about making your own jam and putting it in stuff, be it ice cream, brownies or marshmallows. Plus swirling makes everything prettier.



These brownies are super good. Picture a fudgy brownie, covered in sweet and creamy vanilla cheesecake, with some tangy fruity blueberries swirls and chunks of blueberry intense chocolate. Since creating these brownies, I've made a couple of other variations mostly focusing on triple chocolate (I'm a fiend!) but none have been as good as my original frankenbrownie, you need the tart sharp blueberries I tell you!
Luckily my sad Monday is about to get a lot better. We're talking Harry Potter 4 and a slice or two of these brownies. It's an instant mood lifter, unless you don't like Harry Potter and/or brownies, which is impossible. I can't admit someone doesn't like HP or brownies exists, I can only say if you don't think you like either of these things you haven't persevered enough. You need to really commit to both brownies and HP, to the point where you'd happily eat brownies all day and your wedding/birthday/funeral/general life is going to be Harry Potter themed. I've started asking Dan if we can have a HP wedding when we get married. It's a long way off (we're NOT engaged!) but you know I thought I'd start wearing down his defences now (currently it's a firm no).
Anyway let's move away from my ambitious and crazy wedding plans and move back to brownies. You've got to try them. Adding blueberries to your cheesecake brownies takes them from the passé to the so now. You're not sure what I'm talking about? Neither am I, I'm 3 brownies into a sugar coma. You can't trust anything I'm saying right now. I'm delirious, who talks about Harry Potter in a recipe for brownies. Naboo that's who (this is a terrible Mighty Boosh joke). I think I'm just going to make a quiet exit now. Saved by the recipe!   


Blueberry Cheesecake Brownies
(makes 14 large brownies)

250g caster sugar +  1 1/2 tsps 
150g salted butter
150g plain flour
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
150g 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (I used Lindt Excellence)
100g Lindt's Blueberry Intense Dark Chocolate
100g blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp water
100g icing sugar
250g cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla paste 

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment(tray should be at least 2 m deep). On a low heat, melt the butter. While the butter is melting, whisk together the three eggs with 250g sieved caster sugar until light and combined.

Step 2. Break the 70% dark chocolate and the Blueberry Intense chocolate into chunky chunks aka not too small but easily eaten pieces (make sure to keep the different types of chocolate separate). When the butter is almost entirely melted, add the 70% chocolate and stir with a metal spoon until it's one buttery, chocolatey smooth concoction, then take it off the heat and leave to cool slightly.  

Step 3. While you're waiting for the chocolate butter to cool, make the blueberry jam. On a medium heat, mix together the water, blueberries and the 1 1/2 tsps sugar in a pan and mash it all up a little. Keep a reasonably close eye on the jam till when the blueberries have broken down and it looks jammy. Then take the jam off the heat, and pass it through a sieve.

Step 4. Also known as simultaneous while the jam is cooking down step, make the cheesecake topping. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, sieved icing sugar and the egg yolk (you can save the white for mini meringues, see recipe here) till combined. Then portion out 130g of the cheesecake mix to a separate bowl.

Step 5. Jam done, mix the sieved jam with the 130g of cheesecake mix, it should go a beautiful purple all by itself. Then add the vanilla paste to the remaining cheesecake topping and stir through.

Step 6. Brownies Assemble! Now the chocolate butter has cooled slightly, give it a stir then slowly pour it in the sugary eggs whisking the eggs as you go. Once its all mixed in fold in the sieved flour and finally add the broken up chunks of blueberry intense chocolate. Then pour the brownie mix into the lined tray and evenly spread it around using your utensil of choice.

Step 7. Working quickly, put spoonfuls of the vanilla cheesecake mix on top of the brownie at spaced intervals I like to go for the whole 5 or 6 rows of 3 dollops per tray, but it's your call. Then add spoonfuls of the blueberry cheesecake slightly overlapping the vanilla, until you've got no more mix. Using a chopstick, swirl the cheesecake toppings together into the brownie being careful not to go too deep. Once you're happy with your swirling, bake the brownie in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Step 8. Brownies done and fudgy, leave them to cool, then pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes (if you can wait that long!), before taking it out, cutting them into squares or just eating it with a fork straight from the tray (not for the faint hearted)!    


So I'm sorry you had to witness that rambling, but there you go that's an insight into my mind. As you can see it mostly features the three H's, Hunger, Hilarity and Harry. If you've got any fictional obsessions/you love HP just as much as me (we're talking the books not Daniel Radcliffe) drop me a comment below. If you have any brownie recipes also please leave a comment, I'm thinking about doing a peanut butter brownie maybe with jam. Maybe without, thoughts on that. Also if you want to sign a petition to convince Dan to let us (collective readers included) have a Harry Potter wedding, drop your name below. Thank God Monday's almost over. Now to grab a brownie.

Thanks to Sally from The Cat Café who works for Lindt and the chocolate gurus themselves (Lindt, that's you!) for sending me a box of the finest dark chocolate around, eat Blueberry Intense and know what I mean. All opinions are from yours truly!