Cherry Brownie Cheesecake

I have a confession to make. While I love almost all fruits and veggies, there are just some fruits I CANNOT eat raw. Fruits that have a thin skin covering their flesh. Think blueberries, grapes, and cherries. Unlike Hubby, who can eat blueberries until his hands and mouth are literally blue, I just can’t do it. The texture really grosses me out.

Just because I don’t eat these fruit raw, doesn’t mean I don’t love baking with them. As evidenced by the plethera of blueberry recipes I’ve already posted, I clearly enjoy the flavors these fruits have to offer.

Cherries are a new food for me. Since I don’t eat them raw, and Hubby doesn’t crave them year-round, we just never buy them. On our recent strawberry picking adventure, the farm also had cherry picking available. The cherries looked amazingly juicy and full of flavor. We didn’t end up picking any, but I’ve been seeing tons of cherry recipes popping up on the internet recently.

Then I was at the store and cherries were on sale for a great price. On a whim, I stuck a bag in my cart and brought some home. Hubby was shocked and instantly started snacking on them, claiming he was taste testing them to make sure they were safe for consumption.

Before Hubby ate his way through the whole bag, I set off to find something to make with my impulse buy. There were quite a few recipes out there that caught my eye. I decided to combine this recipe for a Cherry Brownie Cheesecake and this recipe for Roasted Cherry Brownies into one.

I used my Go-To Brownie Recipe for the brownie layer. Instead of using canned cherry pie filling, I used roasted cherries in between the brownie and cheesecake layers, and more on top. I figure if I’m going to heat up the oven to 450 on a hot summer day, I might as well roast a ton of cherries at once.

Hubby and I agreed that this cheesecake was a great way to use up this bag of cherries. We also agreed that I need to buy cherries more often to bake something with them. Roasting fruit gives it a deeper, more sophisticated flavor profile. And who can beat the combination of brownies, cheesecake, and cherry?

Since I don’t have a cherry pitter, I just used a sturdy plastic straw to remove the pits of the cherries. It did take a bit of time to stem, pit, and chop a pound and a half of cherries, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re in a hurry, you could definitely use brownie mix and store-bought whipped chream instead of making everything from scratch.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Cheesecake Bars and Raspberry Almond Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
Two Years Ago: Blueberry Almond Cake with Lemon Drizzle
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes and Goat Cheese Potato Salad
Four Years Ago: Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

I am submitting this for this month’s What’s Baking, hosted by Jaida of Sweet Beginnings. This month’s theme is Summer Fruit!

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Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake

Roasting fruit lends itself to a more sophisticated flavor. The combination of roasted cherries, cheesecake, and brownies will surely please anyone you serve this to.

Yield: Serves 12

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Cherries
1.5 lb (~4 cups) cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/4 cup sugar

For the Brownie Layer
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

For the Garnish
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6-10 cherries

Directions:

For the Roasted Cherries
Preheat oven to 450F.

Place pitted, chopped cherries in a small casserole dish or cake pan. Top with sugar and stir. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and set to 350F.

For the Brownie Layer
While the cherries are roasting, prepare the brownie batter. Grease a 9" springform pan with baking spray.

In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you've heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Spread into a prepared pan and bake 10-12 minutes or until brownie is just set, but not completely done.

For the Cheesecake
While the brownies are baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined and smooth.

Add in the eggs on low speed and set the mixture aside.

Carefully spoon (1 cup) of the roasted cherries into the center of brownie, leave a 2-inch brownie border along sides of pan. Place remaining roasted cherries in a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gently scoop the cream cheese mixture over surface; carefully spread to edges of pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is set, but jiggles when the pan is lightly tapped.

Leaving the cheesecake in the oven, turn off oven and crack oven door. Allow to come to room temperature. This will take about an hour.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

For the Garnish
Spoon the remaining roasted cherries on top of the cheesecake.

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup whipping cream until smooth.

Add the rest of the cream and beat until it has the consistency of whipped cream (don’t overmix).

Pipe onto cheesecake and place one cherry on each swirl of whipped cream.

Recipe inspired by Tidy Mom, Brownie recipe from My Go-To Brownie Recipe, Roasted Cherries from Pastry Affair, Cream Cheese Whipped Cream from me

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38 Responses to “What’s your secret?”

  1. #
    1
    BMK — January 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Those are adorable! I love the idea of lemon meringue cupcakes.

  2. #
    2
    ~Amber~ — January 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    They are adorable!! Great job and I am glad you had success with the recipe.

  3. #
    3
    Shawnda — January 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Congrats on a successful challenge!

  4. #
    4
    slush — January 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    OMG, are they cute! Like little porcupines. So glad it turned out for you. Fab job!

  5. #
    5
    Aparna — January 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I really liked your idea of making the cupcakes. No cutting up and great single sized servings. They look just great.
    Makes me wonder– why didn’t I think of that?

  6. #
    6
    Tempered Woman — January 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hey~ I made lemon maringue cuppies too! I am so sold on making pies this way in the future- very fun. Love the spikies- great job.

  7. #
    7
    Nikki57 — January 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Your LMP looks great! I love the cuppies

  8. #
    8
    CB — January 28, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    LMP cuppys rule! ::high five:: love all the pictures of your process… great job!

  9. #
    9
    Marye — January 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I really like the little pies everyone is making..now I want to redo mine.blessings,
    marye
    http://bakingdelights.com

  10. #
    10
    michelle — January 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Oh so cute! I had considered trying my second attempt in a cupcake tin… until I waited until the last minute, that is! πŸ™‚

  11. #
    11
    ruthEbabes — January 28, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Congrats! These look fabulously divine!

  12. #
    12
    Butta Buns — January 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Ah ha, another fellow Boston baker! Your tarts are beautiful! Love the peaks on the meringue!

  13. #
    13
    How To Eat A Cupcake — January 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Those are so perfect!

    PS: I have those red measuring bowls. I love them! πŸ˜€

  14. #
    14
    I(dot)J — January 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    so SMART to have all of your ingredients out FIRST. I really should know this by now.

  15. #
    15
    Dolores — January 29, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Ooooh, I love your cupcake-pies. How’d you make the meringue spikey?

    And what did the husband think of the final product?

  16. #
    16
    breadchick — January 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

    your little ones are adorable. Great job on your challenge!!

  17. #
    17
    MrsPresley — January 29, 2008 at 2:35 am

    your lemon meringue cupcakes are so cute! job well done! πŸ™‚

  18. #
    18
    Beth G. — January 29, 2008 at 2:36 am

    They’re so cute!! Great job!! :O)

  19. #
    19
    kate — January 29, 2008 at 2:54 am

    i had that crust shrinkage problem too. it’s a bummer.

    ———-
    kate
    http://www.thecleanplateclub.net

  20. #
    20
    Jen — January 29, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Dolores – I just spread the meringue around and then using a spatula, pressed it into the meringue and pulled it out and voila! Spikes!

  21. #
    21
    Andrea — January 29, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Your little cupcakes are adorable! That was a great idea!

  22. #
    22
    Princess of the kitchen — January 29, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Your little tarts lok just lovely. well done!

  23. #
    23
    Big Boys Oven — January 29, 2008 at 8:31 am

    a challenge executed incrediblely well!

  24. #
    24
    Deborah — January 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    They look just perfect!!

  25. #
    25
    Candace — January 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Nice job!

  26. #
    26
    Megan — January 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Too cute! Love the cupcakes. I want one!

  27. #
    27
    Carrie — January 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    My crust did the same thing! Your cupcakes look great though!
    ~Carrie from bakersbakery.wordpress.com

  28. #
    28
    Lane — January 30, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Your “pie-cups” look perfect. Great job!

    Jane of VeganBits.com

  29. #
    29
    Lunch Buckets — January 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Very cute! Did you turn away and silently mock your husband “my mom makes a great…”, no of course you wouldn’t have, I must be projecting πŸ™‚

  30. #
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    Sheltie Girl — January 30, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    You did a wonderful job on your lemon meringue tarts!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    ~ We’re lactose intolerant at our house too.

  31. #
    31
    Quellia — January 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Nice cupcakes! And if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been a DB’er for a year and friends and family, all non-bloggers, always know what I’m making. They kinda have to since I always tape the recipe up on the kitchen cupboards!

  32. #
    32
    creampuff — January 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Yayy! I love reading success posts like this! They look great and that’s a good idea to bake them in muffin tins. Well done!

  33. #
    33
    BrineS — January 31, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I love your little lemon meringues!

  34. #
    34
    Jen Yu — January 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Awesome! I love how differently everyone’s turned out, but these little cuties are so adorable πŸ™‚ Great job!!

  35. #
    35
    Claire — February 1, 2008 at 1:34 am

    So cute! I’m sure everyone enjoyed you addition to the spread!

  36. #
    36
    Jigginjessica — February 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I love cupcake idea. One big pie seems so messy, these seem neat and tidy. Congrats on another successful challenge!

  37. #
    37
    Jelli Bean — August 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The shrinking crust always affects my mini cupcake pies too. The trick is to make them overhang the cups enough so that they shrink down to just the right size. Your little pies are darling!

  38. #
    38
    kijiji in edmonton canada — September 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    It’s awesome for me to have a website, which is helpful in
    favor of my know-how. thanks admin

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