Well to carry on with the red theme, I had made some Strawberry Cream Cheese Brownies. I had no intentions of making brownies at all, but every time I went over to see my parents, one of my nieces would be there after school and always whisper 'Aunty - Brownies, please - Aunty - Brownies, please'. She has been sweetly whispering in my ears for two months now, that I had to oblige. I love her to bits, she is such a happy soul and will go out of her way to make me or anyone else for that matter smile, so why wouldn't I do the same for her.
I was just going to make traditional gooey chocolate brownies for her, but then decided that I also wanted to incorporate some strawberries from the garden, got to keep it seasonal you know. Then I remembered my University days in the West of Scotland, passing this new cakey shop on my way to seminars. The cake shop started making these delicious brownies topped with cream cheese, I had never seen anything like it before, so had to try. Sadly the cake shop did not last long - 6 months maybe, but the taste and memory of one of the most expensive brownies (I was a student then, and it was a treat) came back to mind.
The following day, I went over to my parents and presented her with a tin (with two missing, one for me and the other for D). She did not even open the tin and said 'I know exactly what they are - Thank you'. I left them with her to share and enjoy. I rang her the following day, to get her verdict. I was a little unsure whether she would like the strawberry cream cheese topping. She was pleased, she also added that it made her mother very happy because she ate some fruit - yeah the strawberries covered in cream cheese and chocolate counted as fruit to her. Oh well.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Makes 9 - 12 pieces
300g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
Pinch of salt
225g golden caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g cocoa powder
Tub of cream cheese
25g caster sugar
100g fresh strawberries, halved and green part removed
Line baking tin with non stick baking parchment paper.
Melt the butter, chocolate and salt in a bain marie over medium heat. When melted, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Gently fold this into the melted chocolate. Then carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. When combined, pour into the baking tin.
Lightly whip the cream cheese and caster sugar together until smooth, then fold in the strawberries, crushing a little her and there to give the cream cheese a ripple effect.
Now carefully spoon the strawberry cream cheese onto the brownie batter and swirl with the back of a spoon. Bake in a preheated oven Gas mark 2/ 140oc for 30 - 35 minutes or when ready.
Cool, cut and scoff.