My youngest daughter seems very excited about Valentine’s Day. She’s been talking about it all week. To her it’s all about ‘famgether’. This is a silly word our family made up one holiday. It means ‘family together’. Silly I know but it creeps into conversations when we haven’t seen each other consistently for a while. The last few weeks have been a good example as work schedules have been busy in the evenings. She’s been very specific that this Saturday, Valentine’s Day, is for famgether. We are going to do everything together and cuddle apparently. I’m excited. I could spend all day cuddling my girls. As they grow older they seem to feel too big for cuddles.
We are also going to eat red food. “Red is for love Mummy” she says. So I’ve been stocking up on tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, watermelon, cranberries, rhubarb, radishes, red grapes, red onions, beetroot, red cabbage, blood oranges and red peppers. I found more than I thought I would and we’ll get plenty of lycopene that’s for sure!
That’s the healthy list. There will be some sweet treats from those for sure but I also fancied something a bit fake – After all Valentine’s Day has a very real fakeness about it too doesn’t it? Culturally and commercially imposed romance which is thankfully invisible to my eleven year old. Chocolate brownies however are her absolute favourite so a little fake red cheesecake topping is not going to go against the red food code and might get me a few more cuddles 🙂
[recipe title=”Chocolate Brownies With A Cheesecake Topping” servings=”12-16″ time=”60 mins” difficulty=”Intermediate”]
- 200g soft unsalted butter
- 350g icing sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 200g dark chocolate – 80% cocoa solids
- 100g plain flour
- 400g cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 tsp red paste food colouring
To make them
- Preheat the oven to 170C and line a tray bake tin.
- Make the brownie base first by creaming 200g of the icing sugar and the butter together until soft and fluffy. You could use caster sugar but you will get a lighter sponge vs a dense brownie like sponge.
- Beat three of the eggs and then slowly add them a little at a time beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour and mix well.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave at 15 second bursts. When it’s melted all the way through give it a stir and then pour into the above mixture and mix until it is all combined.
- Pour it into the lined tray bake tin and set aside.
- To make the cheesecake topping, beat the cream cheese and the remaining 150g of the icing sugar until you have a smooth batter and then add the other two eggs.
- Beat with the vanilla essence until well combined.
- Add the red food colouring to the level of intensity you wish. I used Poppy Red Paste and then added a touch of Violet to get a deeper red.
- Pour the mixture over the chocolate layer and then bake for 30 minutes.
- Don’t be tempted to leave it in longer. It will look uncooked but as long as the sides are slightly brown and the middle a little wobbly, it’s done.
- Let it cool and then chill for at least three hours in the fridge.
Slice with a knife – dip this in hot water between cuts as it will help to give you a clean finish.