I have this friend. Her name is Kailey. She’s pretty amazing. You see… she ran an entire marathon with me and didn’t let me give up (and believe me… stopping at 35 km is pretty darn tempting). PLUS she always has a smile on her face, always has a should there to be leaned on, is always up for any kind of adventure, and doesn’t take life too seriously. I know. I’m super lucky eh? First I got to tell you about Platonic Jeff… now everyone, please meet Kailey.
A special girl deserves a special birthday dessert. Since I missed celebrating with her on her actual birthday, I decided not to go the cake or cupcake route. I know that Kailey hearts my lemon cake; and that she hearts anything chocolate… gooey, fudgy, chocolate goodness makes her smile. I decided to combine those two ideas thereby getting the perfect dessert idea – – passionfruit cheesecake brownies. Imagine… the tartness of the passionfruit cream cheese filling, marbled with a dark, rich chocolate brownie. Pretty intense. And amazing.
note: yes yes… I realize that lemon and passionfruit are not the same fruit. However, I am currently in love with passionfruit and I knew that Kailey would love the combo. BUT I do believe that this recipe would be equally delightful with lemon. So expect that from me in the very near future.
I have acquired David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert recipe book (merci Chloé), and have decided that it is my bible for all things interesting in desserts.
David is able to take a simple recipe and bring it up about 10 notches… he did in fact produce the recipe for one of my favourite cookie EVER (and I’ve baked my share of cookies). So when I found his version of cheesecake brownies I knew it was the perfect base for my own dessert idea.
This recipe works in stages. First the brownies, then the cheesecake filling, marble it all together and bake. Not too difficult at all. And – adding the passionfruit curd (or any kind of flavour) to the cheesecake is really up to you. If you decide to… remember, this is an extra step: which needs to be made prior to making the brownies (I’ll include the recipe at the end of this entry).
David Lebovitz’s Cheesecake Brownies
6 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your square baking dish with 2 lengths of tinfoil; ensuring that there is excess foil that extends beyond the edges of the pan. You should really do this… Jenna always does as the restaurant with either parchment paper or foil.. it makes taking squares or brownies out of the pan much easier… and then it means that you can trim the edges and cut perfect squares… Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, adding the chopped semisweet chocolate and stirring over low heat with a wooden spoon. Once your chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar, followed by the 2 eggs. At this point your batter is pretty gooey, so mix in the flour, cocoa powder, and toss in the pinch of salt. Finally, add in the vanilla and stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour your batter into your prepared pan.
SET ASIDE! Don’t bake it yet… time to make the filling!
*adapted from David’s original recipe
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature (regular not fat free)
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp sugar
1 c. passionfruit curd*
1/8 tsp lemon juice*
In the bowl of your stand mixer with your paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, passionfruit curd and lemon juice. You want to get it nice and smooth – – this should take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.
Once it’s ready, distribute the mixture over the brownie batter (that is waiting in the pan) in about 8 dollops. Grab a butter knife (in my case I used a large knife) and swirl the mixtures together – – you’ll get a beautiful marbled effect.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes – – you want the centre to feel like it has just set – but don’t over bake! Otherwise you end up dry brownies – YAK.
A toothpick should not come out clean… so do the wiggle test… take out the pan, gently shake it from side to side and if the centre doesn’t wiggle all over the place – you’re golden! (actually… your brownies are)
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before remove the brownies to cut. But once you are ready, all you have to do is lift the foil out using the excess on the sides and then fold away the foil so that you can cut your brownies.
I decided to cut them into triangles – David said that he got between 9 to 12 brownies… I was able to get 18 triangles PLUS trim. This are pretty rich and decadent… and tart. Perfect for a lover of lemon cake and chocolate. Perfect for Kailey. Enjoy Bella!
And for those of you interested… I used Jenna’s passionfruit curd recipe this time – very simple.
Jenna’s passionfruit curd
1 c. passionfruit purée
3 limes, zest and juice
1 c. sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 c. butter
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the passionfruit, limes, sugar, salt and cornstarch until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Once completely incorporated, temper the beaten egg yolks with about 1/3 c. of the curd (slowly drizzle the hot curd into the egg yolks while whisking none stop… it prevents the egg from curdling). Pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan and return to heat. Whisking continuously, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once ready, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Use some in your cheesecake filling… or store in clean air tight containers in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I decided to make a pie with my left over curd – so yep… another passionfruit recipe for all of you to look forward to!