My obsession with cookbooks extends also to food magazines… the usual suspects being the Australian publications of ‘Gourmet Traveller’, ‘Donna Hay’ and ‘Delicious’. During our 2 year New Zealand sojourn, ‘Cuisine’ and ‘Dish’ became the new favourites and then later on while living in the USA, I spent many a pleasant hour reading ‘Cook’s Illustrated’, cover to cover. Cook’s Illustrated was like nothing else I’d seen before. Rather than mesmerise you with pretty photos, they discussed how each recipe was tried and tested, numerous techniques having been used to get the best possible results for each and every dish. They also tested and compared kitchen appliances and equipment, discussing the pros and cons of each. An absolute joy for a passionate home cook to read and cook from!
On our return to Australia, I decided to subscribe for a further 12 months to C.I. and did so through iBooks. To follow is one of the beautiful recipes I came across in one of their magazines. I’ve adapted it slightly, reducing the sugar a little and adding in some fresh raspberries (I’m sure that frozen would work equally as well). They are rich and decadent, with a slight tartness coming through from the berries – the perfect afternoon tea treat, or even dessert if you have a dollop of whipped cream standing by to scoop over the top.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
For the Cream Cheese topping:
- 115g (4oz) Cream Cheese
- 125g (½ Cup) Sour Cream
- 2 Tablesoons Caster Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
For the Brownie batter:
- 100g (⅔ Cup) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 115g (4oz) Dark Chocolate (chopped)
- 120g (8 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
- 220g (1 Cup) Caster Sugar (I used raw)
- 2 Large Free-Range Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 125g (1 Punnet) Fresh Raspberries
Pre-heat the oven to 165degC (325degF). Line a 20cm (8in) square baking tin with foil and then grease the base and sides.
To make the Cream Cheese topping:
Place the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and soften in the microwave (should only take 10 – 20 seconds). Whisk to remove any lumps, then whisk in the sour cream, sugar and flour. Set aside for the moment.
To make the Brownie batter:
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside for the moment.
In another mixing bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Microwave carefully in short bursts, until melted (should only take 1 – 2 minutes). Stir well to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and butter and continue to whisk until combined. Fold in the dry ingredients and then scoop out about half a cup of the mixture and place back in the bowl the melted chocolate was in. Set this aside for the moment. Add two thirds of the fresh raspberries to the main bowl of brownie batter and gently fold in. Spread this mixture evenly into the base of the lined baking tin. Over the top of this spread the creamed cheese mixture.
Place the bowl with the half cup of reserved brownie batter into the microwave and heat for 10-20 seconds until it’s a pourable consistency. Dollop blobs of this batter over the top of the cream cheese mixture, then using a butter knife, make a swirled pattern over the top of the brownies. Dot the remaining raspberries over the top, pressing them in slightly into the mixture.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40-45 minutes (turning the tin halfway through), until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour before removing the brownie slab from the tin. Place back on the rack and continue to cool for a further 1 hour, before slicing into 16 squares.
Serve at room temperature (also lovely when chilled), with a good strong cup of coffee.
Recipe adapted slightly from one in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.
Awesome recipes. Thanks
That’s very kind of you, thanks… and a warm welcome to Gather and Graze! Cheers, Margot
What a great recipe! The photos are just amazing. Thanks for sharing.
That’s really very kind of you Cecilia, thank you! 🙂
Fantastic brownies, Margot Then again, with chocolate, raspberries, and cream cheese, they’ve got to be good! Like you, I’m a fan of CI and have a few of their cookbooks. mostly because of their step-by-step instructions. I also use them for product recommendations. They haven’t led me astray yet.
I came here after seeing a pin of yours on Pinterest. For reasons only known to WP, I’m not receiving notifications of your posts. I’ll try unsubcsribing/subscribing but, if recent events are any indication, that will be of little good. I’ll just have to remember to check in with you until it corrects itself.
Hi John, I’m sure you haven’t missed too much as I’ve been really rather random in publishing posts lately 😦 I definitely need to stop by your kitchens soon to check out your baked calamari – I was salivating just looking at the photo!
I think you’d love the brownies, if you get a chance to make them… They’re oh so delicioso! 🙂
I don’t know how I missed this. It sounds so, so good!!! I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the recipe! 💕💕
Thanks Angie, so pleased you like it. I’d make these brownies again in a heartbeat – so delicious, but disappear scarily quick! 😉
they look wonderful – lovely to see you blogging again Margot – all the best Poli
Thanks dear Poli – though frustratingly still can’t seem to get myself back into the weekly posting routine… 😕 Hope you’re well and seeing some signs of spring by now!?
Weekly posting is quite a challenge – I have the same problem – I now plan in advance so that I can get photos and things up, but I am taking a couple of training courses and combined with business travel etc. it’s all a bit much – still we do what we can – after all the primary goal is fun right?
These brownies look so good (pretty) and so delicious. I really dig the ingredients. 🙂
Cheers Fae! They both looked and tasted fabulous. I’ll be making this recipe again for sure! 🙂
I am with you about cooking books and magazine. I have so many at home that I have started to place them out of my hubby sight!!! Looking at what you’ve done here I think you did right to subscribe this magazine… look at this cake- ops brownies- they must be amazing! Can’t wait to see what your are going to post in the next period.
😀 I can totally relate Margherita! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. M.xx
Oh wow. I don’t eat sweets much, but I’d eat these for breakfast!!!
Thanks Mimi, they’re one of the loveliest brownie recipes I’ve tried. The raspberries add such a beautiful tartness.
These do look amazing, especially with the fresh raspberries. With coffee first thing would be a must! Still haven’t tried this combo – but then, I haven’t baked since last autumn.
Your links aren’t working, btw. Not even on FB. I kept getting page not found.
Thanks Johnny, it really is a great combination of flavours – all ones that I find hard to resist. Thanks also re the links not working… when I first published the post it somehow set the date to the day before, so I manually edited that, but must have been after it had all gone through to social media. All fixed now hopefully! Cheers, M
These look divine Margot. As my work skirts no longer fitted, I too have been trying to cut back, but still allow myself a home made treat. After years of indulging in so many food mags I had to cut back. The only ones I buy now are Cuisine and Saveur from the US, well, I still buy others every now and then but I have to be strict! Will have to check out Cooks Illustrated.
Thanks Lisa! I believe that home made treats make life that little bit more special… the stuff we remember from childhood (as you mention in your Apricot Slice post) and that which brings the biggest smiles to the faces of those we love.
Saveur is a great magazine too, I have a few old copies of that one lying around too. 🙂 Pleased to know I’m not the only one who finds it hard to walk past the rack of food/cooking magazines!
Your raspberry brownie looks super delicious Margot, the cream cheese/sour cream topping must be a beautiful contrast to the tart berries and rich chocolate base. We know how well these flavours work together so I’ll try this soon. I love NZ’s “Dish” magazine too, the recipes are well suited to the home cook. I must check out Cook’s Illustrated, sounds excellent
So funny that we’ve both posted Raspberry Brownies this week Sandra… a shame we couldn’t sit down with a cuppa together to eat a few! 🙂 I think you’d really enjoy Cook’s Illustrated – not sure if any of the large newsagents in our capital cities sell it, but worth a look. Actually, I’ve just had a quick look at their website just now – https://www.cooksillustrated.com and it gives quite a good idea of what the magazines are like. xx
I followed Cook’s Illustrated on FB after you mentioned them, it looks promising. X
Margot, those brownies are so tempting, I am trying so hard not to eat cake or cookies but then I see a recipe like this and I wish I could grab one and eat it They look amazing and delicious.
Ahhh, I’ve been trying to cut back on the sweet treats as well, but refuse to miss out on them completely (especially when they’re home-made with love). Life is supposed to be enjoyed… though these days I’ve started having to compensate with several long walks around the lake each week, followed up with a super green juice (filled with spinach, kale, cucumber, parsley, ginger and apple). All about finding the balance, isn’t it!? M.xx
hubba hubba! what a gorge treat. NZ leads the world in mags in my opinion. I love Good – it isn’t a cooking mag but is just a fab read. I also adore Cuisine. Might get a sub for Mother’s Day… ps – glad you’re back! We were missed x
Thank you HM! I haven’t seen ‘Good’ before, will have to keep an eye out for it when next in the local newsagents. Loving your idea for the MD subscription… might just follow your lead on that one! M.xx
This looks delicious Margot! Haven’t seen you on blogosphere for a while :). All good I hope! ❤️
Thanks so much for your kind words Sonal. All well here and trying to get back into the groove of blogging, after a little time off… if only there were a few more hours in every day! Hope you’re well… I’ll stop by soon to see all that I’ve been missing. 🙂