Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Apple Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies for National Chocolate Week

It's National Chocolate Week 2012 and I fancied some brownies. I had a tub of ricotta to use up and some Cornish apples from my mother's garden. So to celebrate this most auspicious week, I decided to experiment and make some apple ricotta cheesecake brownies.

This is how I made them:
  • Peeled, cored and sliced two medium apples weighing 200g (unspecified Cornish variety) and placed in a pan.
  • Added 50g vanilla sugar (caster) and a tbsp of water.
  • Simmered for 5 minutes until the apples were soft and no longer wet. Allowed to cool.
  • Stirred in 250g ricotta.
  • Beat in 1 medium egg.
  • Melted 100g unsalted butter in a large pan on low heat.
  • Broke up a 100g bar 85% dark chocolate (G&B) and added to the pan.
  • Added 200g dark muscavado sugar and stirred well until all smooth, then left to cool.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Stirred in 75g wholemeal spelt.
  • Spooned half of the batter into a 9" square mould, covered this with the cheese and apple mixture and then topped with the remaining batter.
  • Dragged the end of a teaspoon through the mixture to try and swirl it a bit, but it stubbornly decided to stay a sandwich rather than have a marble effect.
  • Baked in the middle of the oven at 180C for 25 minutes when the top had set but the middle remained slightly squidgy.
The chocolate gods must have been smiling on me because these turned out to be a fitting tribute to National Chocolate Week. They had a crusty sugar top, which turned deliciously chewy in a toffeish sort of way. They were soft in the middle and would serve equally well as a pudding eaten with a spoon. They retained their shape, however and could be eaten perfectly well using fingers, as CT can testify; I did have to shoo him away from the tin. The cheese was sandwiched elegantly in the middle and acted as a foil to the dark richness of the brownie. The 85% dark chocolate combined with the slight tartness of the apple, helped to counteract the sweetness, making for a very pleasant eating experience.

As these brownies contain local and very seasonal apples, I am entering this into Simple and in Season, guest hosted this month by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen.

I'm also entering this into Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays as it is all made from scratch - of course!

42 comments:

  1. Oh I love it when a baking experiment turns out better than you expected, and your brownies certainly look the picture. Such a different idea to put an apple ricotta mix in the middle too. I might well have to make these just to try the flavour combination for myself. X

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    1. Thanks Fleur, they certainly did it for us ;-)

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  2. I love the combination ricotta-apple-chocolate...
    Have a nice day
    xox

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    1. Thanks Manu, the combination was quite delicious.

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  3. These look incredible, I've been looking for something to bake as a housewarming gift for friends and I think these could be it!

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    1. Thanks Nat. If you do make them, try to get the apple mixture as dry as possible or the brownies will end up too wet - which is fine if you're happy to eat it as a pudding.

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  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely, and you captured the squidge and gooeyness that just makes you want to grab one (or more). x

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    1. He he Sue, squidgy and gooey these certainly were - more of a slice on a plate with a fork rather than grabbing with your hands ;-)

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  5. I love your flavour combinations. You always pick such clever ways to use your ingredients. Apple & Ricotta mixed with vanilla sugar sounds fantastic. Like you, I now enjoy combining my flours when baking so thanks for giving me the idea!

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    1. Thank you Laura - it's a bit hit and miss. Most of the time it works well and I'm happy BUT sadly not always. Glad you've found it fun experimenting with flour. I've made something with hemp flour recently and it was just a bit too bitter.

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  6. Here we go ... another chocolaty thing I could make this week (after all I have ricotta, that needs using). How will I ever survive this?! I feel increasingly lazy, though today, and a bit depressed, too. Should these brownies be the solution or another problem. All I know right now is, that they look and sound delicious ...

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    1. Glad you gave them a go Chris and even better that they cheered you up a bit :)

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  7. Wonderful recipe with ricotta. I love how you made these brownies using my favourite cheese. When I am in Italy I buy it on a weekly basis as a replacement for cheese (but there it is fatter and tastes different). The one you find here is perfect for baking.

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    1. Thank you Alida. It's interesting to hear that ricotta in Italy is different to what we can buy here. I keep meaning to have a go at making my own, but haven't managed it yet.

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  8. Fantastic! The use of ricotta means I can eat as many as I like ;0)

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  9. Oh these sound wonderful! Love the apple ricotta middle, what a scummy idea! Lovely recipe!

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    1. Thanks Jayne. The cheesecake layer was delicious, but it was even better with the brownies sandwiching it :)

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  10. They look very good, I can imagine the apple would lighten the overall brownie richness.

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    1. Thanks Janice - yep, that's just how it is - eating one now as it happens ;-)

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  11. The title for this post was enough to make me drool! I'm adding these to my list of things to try asap.

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    1. Just eating one now Janine and it's just as good as when I made them on Sunday.

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting :)

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  13. love a baking experiment!... and these really do sound and look pretty unusual but I can completely see that they would taste incredible... nice freestyle think C xxx

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    1. It's the experimenting that makes all this baking malarky so much fun Dom :)

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  14. Blimey these sound amazing. I love the combination of flavours here.

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    1. Thank you. Apple and chocolate, I've done quite a bit of experimenting with, but this was the first time I tried it with cheese too. It worked really well.

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  15. Oh my! I love experimenting and using up your ricotta and mum's apples is a great idea but in brownies? Fabulous! They look incredibly squishy and with the apple centre, I'm in heaven just imagining them, Choclette. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks Jill. They ended up being slightly squishier than I was hoping for, but oh so delicoius.

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  16. Great experimenting - I love the sound of the filling - sort of like having your brownies with some fruit and cream in the middle instead of on the side

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    1. Yes Johanna, good way of putting it :)

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  17. Such a creative recipe, Choclette - I love the pairing of apples with chocolate and ricotta. I have no idea what it tastes like (beyond your description as I've never had the pairing), but it appeals to me and I'd snag a few if left unguarded ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks JW. It's that time of year when I have a load of apples and have to think of different ways of using them. Some ideas work better than others, but this was a good one.

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  18. I love these Choclette. You are clever. I wish I could tuck into a piece right now. Adding apple was inspired!

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  19. They look great. I would never have thought to put an apple cheesecake layer in the middle. Come to think of it I would never have thought of apple cheesecake at all, but even on its own it sounds like a good combo.

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    1. Thanks C - Apple cheesecake is delicious all on it's own, but it did also go very well in this brownies.

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  20. I like these sticky square chocolate treats! Apples, ricotta cheese and chocolate sound very good to me! I'm learning so much about chocolate from your blog. I'm a chocolate fan but I'm not so good to cook with it. Thanks

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words Rita, it's always good to know that someone finds what I'm doing useful :)

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  21. Ooh Choclette I love that you have such a fantastic number of brownie recipes on your site. (I see there are 31 to date...!) and these are so inventive. I love the idea of the apple ricotta encased within the brownie batter. Yum

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    1. Thanks Nazima - 31 brownie recipes looks like overkill - oh dear! Somehow though, I suspect a few more will find there way onto the blog. I am a bit of a brownie addict. The apples worked wonderfully well with these the tartness of the apples really offset the rich and sweet brownie.

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