Here in the Midwest, summer is in full swing. The kiddos are out of school and the few short weeks when we were having gorgeous 70 something degree weather is no more. We’ve hit 90 degree days with the weather being just tolerable enough to take the kids outside in the early morning and late evening. And while summer heatwaves are not something to be excited about, I’ll tell you what I do get excited about when summer time rolls around.
Berries! Berries are at their peak ripest in the summer months and I buy them in large quantities. There is never a time in the summer months when you won't find a variety of berries stocked up in my refrigerator. Berries for jams, snacking, smoothies, and of course, baked goods and desserts. Berry ALL the things.
These raspberry swirl cheesecake brownies are a perfect way to use up some of those gorgeous summer sweet raspberries. This is a dessert that is chocolaty, creamy and fresh all at the same time. The raspberry jam is sweet-tart, and fruity while the chocolate brownies are fudgy and intensely chocolaty. The cheesecake swirl is creamy and tangy and balances the raspberry and chocolate flavors.
This recipe starts by making a quick and simple raspberry jam. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries here so you can make this all year round. I have even used blackberries for this recipe and they work really well too. Combine sugar and raspberries into a saucepan with a bit of lemon juice. The juice will help retain the bright pink raspberry color. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it reduce. The raspberry jam will be thickened and super concentrated in flavor. After straining out the seeds and pulp, pop in the fridge to cool and thicken up further. Not only is this jam fabulous in these brownies but it’s also great for drizzling on ice cream, mixing into buttercreams, spreading on scones and even for mimosas.
While the raspberry jam is cooling down in the fridge, prepare the cheesecake batter. I highly suggest using Philadelphia brand cream cheese as I find that it produces the best results in baking and frostings. Once the cheesecake batter is mixed until completely smooth, set aside and prepare the brownie batter.
This brownie recipe is decadent, dense and intensely chocolatey. It’s my absolute favorite and I use this brownie recipe all the time. Be sure to use high quality chocolate here because you will be able to taste it.
To achieve the swirls, start by spreading the brownie mixture evenly into the pan. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out equal portions of the cheesecake mixture onto the brownie batter. Spoon a teaspoon or so of jam over each cheesecake scoop. With a butter knife, create swirls in the batters until the cheesecake mixture and jam are well distributed. Pop in some fresh raspberries and off to the oven it goes.
You will want allow the raspberry swirl cheesecake bars to cool fully before cutting into them. You can rush this process a bit by popping them into the fridge.
If you try this recipe, let me know. Leave a comment in the comment area below. Be sure to snap a photo and tag it #littlevintagebaking on Instagram. I love seeing your Little Vintage Baking Company creations!
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Brownies
¾ cups (101 grams) all purpose flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry cocoa powder)
¼ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter
½ tsp instant espresso powder (I use King Arthur Instant Espresso Powder)
2/3 cup (141g) bittersweet chocolate chips (high quality)
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50g) light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use Nielson Massey)
8oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (12 oz bag) fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tsp of lemon juice
¼ (50g) cup granulated sugar
Pint of fresh Raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper. Make the raspberry jam first to allow time to cool. In a saucepan, heat the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Reduce raspberry mixture until thickened, to about a cup. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Place into the refrigerator to chill.
Make the cheesecake batter. Combine the softened cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer or a whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Make the brownie batter. In small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt to combine. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, over the lowest heat setting, melt the butter with the espresso powder. Once melted, remove the pan from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until completely melted. Add in both the granulated and brown sugars and stir until combined. The mixture should now be room temperature. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring just to combine after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the cheesecake mixture onto the brownies in nine even spots. Spoon a teaspoon of the raspberry jam over the cheesecake scoops. Using a butter knife, create swirls in the batter until the jam and the cheesecake are well distributed. Press a few fresh raspberries into the batter.
Place into preheated oven to bake for 38-45 minutes. This time could be a bit longer, or it could be less. Insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness. There shouldn't be uncooked cheesecake batter. The edges should be visibly cooked, pale brown and the brownies shouldn't jiggle or look wet. Once baked, set on wire rack to cool. To speed up the cooling process, pop into the fridge after cooling down from the oven for 15 minutes. Once cool, cut into even bars and serve.