THE Perfect Dessert to Make With In-Season, Juicy Blackberries

Last week I wrote about how to freeze and preserve in-season fruits like berries and oh boy, have I been busy doing this. All the grocery stores around me have berries on major sale and I have been stocking up. My fridge and freezer are filling up with more berries and peaches than I know what to do with! Don't worry, my friends, it's not too hard to come up with ideas, especially of the baked variety :)

Since I'm not trying to go too crazy with sweets lately, I am building off of the recipe I shared a couple weeks ago with the small batch brownies for two and this week we are going to be adding two delicious components that can only make beloved brownies taste even better! We're going to add a cheesecake layer on top with a blackberry swirl! Trust me, you didn't know you needed this flavor combo in your life, but you will soon know that you did. These end up being a gorgeous swirly deep purple so the presentation is on point! These would definitely be worthy of a beautiful treat at a shower or party of some kind. But today, I'm just giving the recipe for two big brownies. Just the right amount to enjoy every single bite, while not consuming half a pan of brownies yourself. You're welcome ;)

Now, since it is berry season, I wanted to share some tips from on how to choose the very best berries when at the store or farmer's market so you can have the very best jams, smoothies, pies and other baked goodies.

How to Choose the Best Berries:

Strawberries: Generally best from mid-June to early July, look for berries that are dry, firm, deep red in color, with intact stems--they do not ripen further after picking.

Blackberries: Available from May to September, but peak in June and July; look for shininess, as the blackberry's dull color is a good sign of its age.

Blueberries: Purchase smooth-skinned, dark blue or purple berries, making sure to avoid juice-stained containers, from mid-June to mid-August.

Raspberries: Find fully colored raspberries that hold their shape since soft berries spoil sooner, ripened in late June and early July.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serving size: 2
Calories per serving: 270

for the blackberry swirl:
3 ounces fresh or frozen blackberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

for the brownie bottom:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

for the cheesecake layer:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 large egg white (reserve the yolk for another use)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, make the blackberry sauce: add the blackberries and sugar to a small saucepan. Crush lightly with a wooden spoon, and turn the heat to medium. Let the blackberries cook until soft and falling apart (about 10 minutes). Push the blackberries through a sieve to collect all of the juice and discard the seeds. Set aside.

Next, make the brownies: combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for 30 seconds.

Stop, stir the mixture, and then place it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

Stir the brownie mixture gently to cool for about 3-4 minutes, and then stir in the salt and vanilla to further cool it.

Once the brownie mixture feels warms (but not hot) to the touch, add the egg and stir until combined.

Finally, add the flour, and beat for at least 50 strokes (the more you stir brownie batter, the chewier the brownies will be!)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Line a 9x5x3" loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving extra on the ends to serve as handles.

Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Next, make the cheesecake filling: combine all ingredients and beat until smooth with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownies, and gently smooth.

Next, drizzle the blackberry sauce on top of the cheesecake, and use a toothpick to gently swirl it into the cheesecake layer (try not to swirl it into the brownie layer).

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake start to turn golden brown, and a toothpick inserted to the cheesecake comes out mostly clean.

Let the brownies cool in the pan to room temperature and then slice. Refrigerate for the easiest slicing. Enjoy!

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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