raspberry & brownie cheesecake

mainpictureBest friends are a wonderful thing. You understand each other, know what the other likes and dislikes, can talk for hours on end about utter nonsense. And, most of all, you have habits. Rituals, one might say. And for me and Miss Shiny, one of these rituals involves what-to-get-for-her-birthday. I don't remember when it started, but somehow, around March each year, the question will pop up. "Hey, Miss Shiny, what do you want for your birthday this year?" And sometimes she will reply "I think chocolate" or "Can it be fruity?" or "I don't know. Surprise me!"

We are of course, talking about cake. Birthday cake specifically. And so she has gotten a cherry ripe cake, a pirate cake and other such inventions over the past few years with much glee from her (and double glee from her parents). This year was a little different. "Do you think we could do a cheesecake?" she asked. It was a toughie. Mainly because I don't make cheesecakes. And because her boyfriend doesn't like cheesecakes. And oh! This was going to be a toughie.

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morning tea at Miss Shiny's

But before I get into what I made (and how I made it) I have to mention the party. A morning tea swap party, where everybody cleaned out their wardrobe and brought anything unwanted, unwearable or unfitting (due to excessive cake consumption) along and dumped it on the lawn or hung it on the clothesline. If you liked something you saw, it was yours! And anything left over at the end of the day was bundled off to charity.

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quarter-cut sandwiches

And the spread, like the lady herself, was just lovely. Cupcakes, crackers and cheese. Finger sandwiches galore! Oh, any my cake.

Following the happy success of the brownie caramel slice at the Bean's birthday fiesta, I decided to do a little crazy adapting for Miss Shiny's. A rich, fudgy chocolate brownie base. A light, gooey, tart-and-sweet vanilla and raspberry middle. And a chocolate crumble topping for those who like their traditional cheesecakes, albeit a little upside down. So a little messing around later, I had a recipe. One big cake for her, three little(r) ones for me. Hurrah!

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miss shiny's birthday cheesecake

ingredients:

for the brownie base

200g butter
50g (½C) cocoa powder
440g (2C) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
225g (1½C) plain flour

for the cheesecake middle

500g cream cheese
125g sugar
300ml cream
½tsp vanilla
3tsp powdered gelatine
¼C water
250g frozen raspberries

for the crumbly topping

250g chocolate ripple biscuits (or crunchy chocolate biscuit)
100g melted butter

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happy birthday miss shiny!

method:

1. Let's make the brownie base. We made it yesterday, remember? For the caramel slice? If you've forgotten, head over to the recipe and follow steps 1 to 6. This recipe will make enough for the 25cm square tin plus three 1 Cup ramekins (for eating by yourself later).

2. You want to let this cool completely and then, for safety's sake, lift the brownie out of the pan once it is cool and stick an extra layer of glad wrap in underneath the greaseproof paper (This will help you to lift the entire cheesecake out in one not-falling-apart piece later on). Now put the lot back into the original cake tin.

3. Now for the lovely cheesecake middle. Cube the cream cheese, add sugar & beat until it is smoothght. Add the cream and vanilla and beat again until it is light.

4. Dissolve the gelatine in warm water and stir until you can't see the grains anymore. Tip this into the cream cheese mix and beat briefly to combine.

5. We're adding the tasty bit now! Dump about 100g of the raspberries into the mix and stir to combine. Some of the juices will leach out at this point. Now add the rest of them and stir ever-so-carefully so they don't break up as much. This way you'll get a nice mix of whole raspberries and raspberry juice swirls.

6. Spread the cheesecake mix over the top of the brownie base.

7. For the topping, break the biscuits down to a crumb using a food processor. Add the melted butter and stir through. It should hold shape when squished into a ball, but then fall apart when you poke it.

8. Press this mixture down on top of the cheesecake mix and stick it in the freezer for an hour or until set. Voila!!

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cheesecakey interiors

6 bites more:

Simon said...

When I first saw this, I thought it was some sort of rocky road cake. It's clever that you used the cheesecake as a sort of filling, or what would at least be one in a traditional cake.

Did the bf end up eating any of the cake?

Stephcookie said...

The morning tea swap party sounds like such a fantastic idea! And I made a bit of a Homer Simpson drool noise when I first spotted that cake, raspberries and brownies AND cheesecake? Yum! :| Are you a little bit boggled by the similarities of our posts today? Wow I think our brains must be slowly morphing into one...*eery music*

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

The swap party is a great idea. I need more excuses to clean out my overfilled drawers, otherwise I'll be overwhelmed by old t-shirts I've saved for bushwalking.

I like the way you made mini cakes for later. Raspberry and chocolate is so good you'd need some leftovers.

FFichiban said...

Hahah the fabled brownie-based cheesecake mmmmm. Looks just as good as I imagined it to be ^^!

Anita said...

That's my sort of cheesecake!!!! (especially since I'm not a huge fan of normal cheesecakes) Thanks for the recipe :)

shez said...

Simon: oh, the poor bf didn't end up getting any. by the time he popped around it was all gone.

stephcookie: we are! its a little bit crazy :) and oh it was so tasty. i'm so glad i saved some for myself!

Arwen: and it's so feel-good as well. free clothes for me + free clothes for charity. double win.

FFichiban: next time, thinner brownie base, more cheesecake filling!

Anita: you're very welcome :)

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