Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Can Never Have Too Many Brownies

Are you one of those people in the die-hard "chocolate or bust" camp? Or are you more attracted to the rich, smooth velvetyness of the custards, the flans... the cheesecakes! I can never decide for myself. I mean, I adore chocolate - what girl doesn't after all? - but like my dad, I have a penchant for rich, creamy rice pudding. I picked up a love for Boston Cream Pie from grandpa. And cheesecake? Well, that's all mom's doing, for sure.

But finding good combinations for the two is tricky. The texture thing, for one - brownies are fudgy to cakey, easily eaten out-of-hand, slightly gooey and just brownie-ish. Rice pudding is thick but spoonable, requiring a bowl. Boston Cream Pie and cheesecake (for the most part) require forks. Then there's the whole taste factor: both the creaminess of the non-chocolate desserts and the fudgy qualities of the brownies are rich, and easily overpower a dessert. I've tried recipe after recipe over the years that combined the two - brownie batter-swirled rice pudding, brownie crusted cheesecake, and yes, even the common cheesecake swirled brownie, but there was always some sort of sway one way or another that meant one side won out over the other.

So why would I try another recipe for the exact same thing? Well, for one, I needed a dessert to bring to a class function, and my brownies are famous (go figure, we're nutrition students). Two, I wanted to really play round with this combination and see if I could finally get the darn thing right. Three, I had an ace up my sleeve. This was no vanilla-cream cheese batter. Nope, I whipped out some cherry flavour and ricotta, along with my go-to cheesecake binder of silken tofu, for a new splash to the brownie world. I don't know myself how they tasted - but judging by the fact that they disappeared about 10 minutes into the meeting I'd say they were probably okay!

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 24
1.75 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla
8 oz silken tofu
¾ cup spelt flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

9 oz ricotta
5 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz silken tofu
1/2 cup cherry-flavoured, low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp cold water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13" pan with parchment.
  2. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate and oil until smooth.
  3. Add brown sugar and honey and stir until well combined, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, puree vanilla and tofu until smooth, then add to chocolate mixture and beat in.
  5. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt until just combined - do not overmix.
  6. Spread into the bottom of the pan.
For Cheesecake
  1. Beat together ricotta, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well combined and fluffy.
  2. Add tofu and yogurt, beating well.
  3. Whisk together tapioca flour and cold water, then add to mixture.
  4. Dollop over the brownie mixture in the pan, and with a knife or a chopstick swirl in.
  1. Bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Chill before cutting and serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 166.0
Total Fat: 9.1 g
Cholesterol: 12.2 mg
Sodium: 46.3 mg
Total Carbs: 22.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 3.8 g


  1. I've never tried tofu in a cheesecake but I've heard of it, and if they disappeared in ten minutes, it had to be good :) These look and sound scrumptious.

  2. Oh my, these do sound delicious! Sarah, this is one I'll have to try. Maybe for the holidays!

    Have a terrific weekend!


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