If you're a baking geek like myself, you'll look at these and presume they're a blondie.. but things aren't always as they seem! This creation is a brownie, made using white chocolate and tinged with a bit of pink food colouring to make it pretty. I hope you’re in the mood for something sweet guys; dark chocolate’s angelic looking cousin is much sweeter and means business! Luckily, I’ve paired it up with some tarty cherry jam to take off the edge. To make it even better, the cherries are swirled on a layer of yummy cheesecake. Aaahhhh bliss.
I’ve messed about with this recipe a few times and now I feel I’ve finally nailed it. The result is a rich, dense and chewy brownie. One little square will go a long way in keeping that sweet tooth satisfied!
After some trial and error, I recommend blitzing the jam to a puree-like consistency before swirling into the cheesecake layer. In my first batch, I had left large pieces of cherry and when cutting into it, the lumps of cherry would drag down through the top making it look slightly messy. I mean it’s not the end of the world but I'm a tad O.C.D with baking and demand neatness!
The cherry jam recipe makes double the amount you need, I figured you might want some homemade cherry jam on toast, or have enough to make a second batch perhaps? Either way, providing you keep it sealed in a jar, it'll keep in the fridge for months!
Let’s get baking!
Makes 16 squares
Prep time: 3 hours (including cooling the jam)
Total time: 7 hours- overnight (includes chilling)
For the Cherry Jam:
300g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (i used thawed frozen cherries, budget friendly AND pitted. Result!)
200g granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon
For the Brownies: (adapted from Sally's baking addiction)
120g white baking chocolate, cut into squares
200g granulated sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g plain flour
Pinch of salt
50g white chocolate chips (optional)
1/8 tsp purple gel food colouring
1/8 tsp red gel food colouring (I use wilton you don’t need much!)
For the Cheesecake Layer:
340g cream cheese (I always go for the leading brand, never compromise on good quality cream cheese)
90g granulated sugar
Half a tsp of vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
4-5 tbsp cherry jam (shop bought or homemade, see point 1 below)
Make the jam. Place a saucer in the freezer (this will test if the jam is ready). Add cherries and lemon juice to a deep medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Using a wooden spoon, crush the cherries whilst stirring. Bring to a gentle simmer for around 5 minutes till cooked through. Add sugar and stir till dissolved; you’ll be able to tell as you’ll no longer feel the grainy texture around the sides of the pan. Bring to a rolling boil for 8 minutes. Place a tsp of jam onto the chilled saucer and pop back in the freezer for a minute. Run the back of a spoon through the jam and if it crinkles/feels gel-like then it’s ready. If not quite there yet, boil for a couple more minutes and re-test. Transfer the hot jam into a sterilised jar and allow to cool.
Make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides (taking the brownie out will be so much easier).
Add butter and white chocolate to a medium sized microwave- safe bowl and melt in 30 second blasts, stirring each time, till smooth and fully melted. Add in the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk till smooth. Finally, whisk in the flour and pinch of salt till smooth and well combined. Add in the food colouring, stirring as you go, before adding more if necessary. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until barely set in the middle. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Make the cheesecake layer. Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar till combined. Add vanilla extract and eggs and beat till smooth. Pour over the brownie layer. Drop blobs of cherry jam (I suggest blitzing to get rid of any large bits, but it’s up to you) all over the cheesecake mixture. Use the back of a knife to swirl it around. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes till just slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin till it reaches room temperature. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Lift the chilled brownie out of the tin and cut into 16 even squares.