Someone once said that the best things in life come in threes like friends, dreams and memories. I would like to stick this cake at the end of that quote, because the three layers that make up this sweet sandwich will be a close memory I hope to never wake up from.
This cake has something for everyone: when I brought this cake into work Monday morning, the winning layer appeared to be the soufflé type raspberry cream topping. Others favoured the dense texture of the brownie and a small minority enjoyed the fluffy and slight saltiness of the layer of cheesecake.
My eyes are immediately drawn to the creamy top if I’m honest; I’m not one for things being symmetrical and in order, but I have to say I love how the contrasting textures hold together forming this perfectly layered square. I was a little nervous baking the brownie and the cheesecake together, fearing one would bleed into the other forming some kind of marble effect. But as long as you keep the cake in the fridge, the cream will keep on top of the cake and keep its shape for a good 6 hours.
Rasberry Cheesecake Brownie
For the Brownie
200g unsalted butter (softened)
250g icing sugar
110g plain flour
For the Cheesecake
400g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cream topping
300 ml whipping cream
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g fresh raspberries, plus extra to decorate
For the brownie:
Preheat the oven to 170°C (or Gas mark 5)
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and with a spoon or electric whisk beat until you have a fluffy light cream.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Gradually beat in the flour until you get a smooth mixture. Do this for about 2 minutes on high speed with an electric whisk.
Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking tray and smooth over with a palette knife.
For the cheesecake:
Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy.
For a little lighter and fluffier mixture, beat the cream at high speed for 1 minute with an electric or manual whisk, but be careful not to over-mix, otherwise the cheese will split. Spoon on top of the brownie and smooth over with a palette knife.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges. The centre should still be pale. Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours at least.
For the cream topping:
Put the cream, sugar and in a bowl and whisk or beat until firm but not stiff.
Mince up the raspberries with a fork (keeping 12 or so back for decoration) and stir into the cream.
Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the right way up.
Spread the topping evenly over the brownie, cut into portions and decorate with more raspberries.
Adapted from the Humming Bird Bakery Cookbook