Brownie & Berry Cheesecake Stack

This tasty morsel was on the front cover of Taste magazine (September 2015) and the recipe featured as a Cook the Cover. I looked at the photo in the supermarket & saw chocolate, raspberries, cheesecake & gold sparkles - I simply had to convert it to gluten free. 

This recipe was an easy 1:1 substitution of wheat flour to Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, however the method needed to be modified just a tad. The second line in the recipe reads "Lightly grease three 20 cm (base measurement) square cake pans with oil." If you have 3 x 20 cm square cake tins & can bake them at the same time use the total recipe. If you have 1 x 20 cm square cake tin (I bought one with a removable base, it was fantastic - Masterclass brand) follow the per brownie recipe.

Another change to the method is the way the eggs are beaten. In the original recipe 3 of the eggs are separated, yolks & whole eggs are creamed with the sugar, some of the other ingredients are folded in to the yolk mix then the egg whites are whisked and folded in. It is not easy to do this if you are using the per brownie quantities. One of the problems with this method is that the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour has started to thicken while the egg whites are being whisked which makes it harder to fold the egg whites in. As my arms were getting sore I simplified the method a little. 

 

Ingredients

Total

210 g Dark chocolate

180 g Butter

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

6 Eggs

255 g Brown sugar

102 g Hazelnut meal

75 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

36 g Cocoa powder

  

per brownie 

 70 g Dark chocolate

60 g Butter

1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 Eggs

85 g Brown sugar

34 g Hazelnut meal

25 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

12 g Cocoa powder

 

Cheesecake filling

375 g Cream cheese

45 g Icing sugar

200 g White chocolate

300 ml Thickened cream

15 g Caster sugar

125 g Fresh raspberries

125 g Frozen raspberries

5 Gold strength gelatine leaves*

45 g Hot water

Optional pink food colouring to tint

 

*The original recipe used 3.5 tsp gelatine powder

 

Ganache#

100 g Thickened cream

140 g Dark chocolate

# I only used about 1/2 of the ganache

 

Flowers

~250 g Dark chocolate melts (compound chocolate)

Edible gold lustre powder (specialty baking stores)

Chocolate coated almonds (the original were Maltesers)

 

Method

Brownie

Preheat oven to 150 C (fan forced).

Lightly grease a 20 cm square cake tin (or 3 if you have them).

Line the base & sides with baking paper making sure the sides overhang. My oven has a strong fan & I had to use bull dog clips to stop the paper flapping/getting stuck on the top of the brownie.

Melt the chocolate & butter. 

Mix together the hazelnut meal, Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour & cocoa powder. I mixed together the total amounts of these ingredients & then used 71 g of the mix per brownie. 

Using an electric mixer (stand mixer is preferable) cream the eggs, brown sugar & vanilla together for ~8 minutes. It will be thick & creamy. 

Stir in the melted chocolate.

Stir in the hazelnut meal mix until well combined. 

Transfer to the cake tin & bake for ~20 mins. 

Bring the brownie out of the oven & transfer tin to the cooling rack. Allow it to cool before taking the brownie out. Repeat the above to make 2 more brownies.

Don't worry about the edges of the brownie they will be cut off. 

If you have a cake tin with a removable base while the brownie is baking wash & dry the mixing bowl, put out a cooling rack & a bread board. Cut more baking paper lining for the cake tin. When the brownie has ~10 mins to go start mixing the next one but don't put in the hazelnut mix. 

Bring the brownie out of the oven & transfer tin to the cooling rack. With oven mitts carefully push up the base (without burning yourself) & transfer base/brownie to the bread board. While it is still warm, using the baking paper under the brownie, gently slide the brownie off the base.

Put the base back in the tin, line it, finishing mixing the brownie, transfer to the cake tin & bake. Repeat for 1 more base.

Before proceeding with the cheesecake filling make sure the brownies are cool. 

Lightly grease a 20 cm square cake pan with oil. Line the base & sides with plastic clingwrap making sure the sides overhang. 

Put 1 of the brownie bases in the cake pan. 

Cheesecake filling

Thaw the frozen raspberries, mash them with a fork & sprinkle them with the caster sugar.

Whip the cream & melt the chocolate.

Beat the cream cheese & icing sugar together.

Mix in the melted chocolate & fold in ~1/3 of the whipped cream. Fold in the remaining cream in 2 more batches.

Divide mixture in half. Half will have raspberry puree the other half the fresh raspberries.

Push the raspberry/sugar mixture through a sieve on to 1/2 of the cheesecake mix. Fold to mix & add in pink food colouring if you want. 

Soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water for ~5 mins. Drain & squeeze out excess water. Dissolve gelatine in 25 g hot water. Fold into the raspberry cream cheese mix.

Pour the raspberry cream cheese over the brownie layer in the cake pan, smooth the surface & put another brownie on top. Gently press down on the brownie. 

Soak the remaining 2 gelatine leaves in cold water for ~5 mins. Drain & squeeze out excess water. Dissolve gelatine in 20 g hot water. Fold into remaining cream cheese mixture & pour over the brownie layer in the cake pan. Scatter the fresh raspberries on the cream cheese & press them into the mixture. Top with the remaining brownie, gently press the brownie onto the cheesecake mixture.

Cover brownie cheesecake stack with plastic clingwrap & refrigerate for ~7 hours or overnight.

Gently lift out the brownie cheesecake stack, put it on a bread board & peel off the clingwrap from the sides. Using a ruler or spacer as a guide cut ~2-3 cm off each side of the brownie cheesecake stack. Carefully lift the cut cheesecake to a serving plate. 

Ganache 

Heat the cream to near boiling, add in the chocolate & stir until it is smooth. Let it cool slightly.

Pour a bit of the ganache on the top of the stack & with the back of a spoon spread it to the edges. If there is not enough ganache to drip down the sides add a bit more.

Making the flowers

Below is a photo of the instructions as they appeared in Taste magazine.

 

You will need:

  • ~50 pieces of baking paper (~6.5 cm x 3.5 cm)
  • cotton wool balls
  • cupcake or tartlet trays
  • paper towel (for the bench to catch the chocolate drips)
  • a large knife
  • small piping bag
  • patience and a steady hand

Put a little of the gold lustre powder into a tiny container. Put in one of the chocolate coated almonds & coat it with the powder either using a brush or rolling it around in the container.

When making the chocolate petals keep the melted chocolate over a basin of hot water.

Put the chocolate on the side of the baking paper that is naturally curling upwards. 

Don't pick the petals up by the tip, they are fragile.

Have fun & enjoy eating your creation.