Cheesecake brownies are such a great treat. They have a wonderful combination of flavors and textures, and even though they’re usually quite rich, the balance between the tangy cheesecake and chocolaty brownie makes them seem light. Classic vanilla cheesecake is the default topping for these, but there is no reason that you can’t branch out and try other flavor combinations here, just as you can with regular cheesecakes.
For this batch, I added in a swirl of raspberry preserves to the cheesecake topping, creating raspberry cheesecake brownies. Raspberries go very well with both chocolate and cheesecake. I picked raspberry preserves that had seeds, but no big chunks of fruit. Any type of preserves or jam will work well for this recipe, including ones with big chunks of fruit (if that is the style of preserve that you prefer), although I think that relatively smooth preserves work best.
The raspberries added some juiciness and extra sweetness to the dessert, as well as a lovely swirl of color to break up the black-and-white of the plain cheesecake brownie. The brownies themselves are a little bit chewy and a little bit fudgy, a good contrast for the tender, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake topping.
Resist the urge to swirl the raspberries into the brownies and keep most of it in the topping. The color of the raspberries will be lost in with the chocolate batter, and the flavor contrast is much more noticeable when the raspberry swirl is primarily confined to the cheesecake layer.
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
Â 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry preserves/jam
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8Ã—8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and prepare cheesecake mixture.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Drop dollops of raspberry preserves into the cheesecake batter. Gently swirl batters with a butter knife, giving the brownies a swirly look.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 20 brownies (or 25 small brownies).