Friday, 30 October 2009

Cranberry, Orange & Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Look at all those luscious ingredients and ask yourself how these could be anything but delicious. And so they are...

This is a honkin' big pile o' brownies. You may wish to cut the recipe in half which it will do very nicely, although you will then have leftover ricotta cheese, since it comes about 2 cups to the tub generally. There are other uses for it, after all. I was hauling these off to a pot-luck, so I actually wanted a honkin' big pile. They are not wildly sweet in spite of being rich and chocolatey; if you like a sweeter brownie you should use fully sweetened chocolate.

I forgot to put the cranberries in the middle, so I ended up putting them on top. Much better to have a good memory and put them in the middle.

32 to 40 brownies
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time - and you will also need to cool them...

Cranberry Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake Brownies
Make the Cheesecake:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 extra-large eggs
the finely grated zest of 1 orange

Mix the sugar and arrowroot into the cheese, then beat in the eggs one at a time, and the grated orange zest. Set aside.

Make the Brownie Base:
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet dark chocolate
1/2 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put the butter and chocolate into a dish, and microwave on medium heat until melted; about 2 minutes but it will vary. Or, you can melt them in the top of a double boiler.

Crack the eggs into the dry ingredients, then mix briefly. Add the melted butter and chocolate and continue mixing. Mix in the orange juice, and continue mixing until the batter is smooth and well-blended, but don't overmix.

Finish the Cheesecake Brownies:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Put about two-thirds of the brownie batter into a 9" x 13" baking pan, either non-stick or well greased. Spread it out evenly in the pan.

Spoon out the cheesecake mixture evenly over the brownie batter, and spread it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the cranberries evenly over the cheesecake mixture.

Take the remaining brownie batter and spoon it over the top of the cheesecake. Don't worry about spreading it out too evenly, but take a knife or spoon, and swirl and spread it around so that the top, overall, is smooth and there are streaks of chocolate and cheesecake visible.

Bake the brownies at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until just firm on top. Don't overbake!

If you cut this recipe in half, bake it in an 8" or 9" square pan. Expect it to take about 35 to 40 minutes to bake.


Joanne said...

Bestill my heart. These sound absolutely amazing. I didn't know that you could make cheesecake brownies THIS MUCH MORE delicious. I also love that you use ricotta in lieu of cream cheese. Much more palatable that way!

foundcity said...

Oh my goodness, cheesecake AND brownies? That is amazing!

Thank you for doing this blog, I love it.

Ferdzy said...

Ha, I'm always happy to amaze people... I think. Thanks for the kind words.

Dan said...

These look fantastic but the little lady doesnt like fruit in her chocolate. What would you use instead of that 1/2 cup of OJ?

Great blog! Just stumbled onto it a couple weeks ago and used your Canned Salsa and Canned Pickle recipes. Salsa rocks, still waiting on the pickles.

Ferdzy said...

Dan, does she like almond? I would replace the orange juice with milk and add a teaspoon of almond flavouring. Or mint would go with cherries and chocolate as well. I think those should work.

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Hope the pickles work out... I mean, they always have, but it seems so much like magic to me, I'm always amazed to leave cucumbers and come back to pickles.

Dan said...

Great idea. We have quite a bit of Almond milk at work so I'll use some of that.

Ha ha, so true. A little salt, vinegar and time - viola, deliciousness!