Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

brownies

I made these when my friend Jenny came round. She is gluten intolerant, so brownies seemed like an obvious choice. Wheat flour can easily be substituted for another flour, such as rice flour, or ground almonds, as I’ve used here. Adopting a gluten free lifestyle seems to be all the rage nowadays, whether or not you actually have coeliac disease. Two of my favourite food blogs are by people who don’t eat gluten – Tartlette and La Tartine Gourmande.

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Gluten seems to be hidden in a remarkable amount of things. According to a quick Wikipedia glance (the extent of any ‘research’ I do for this blog) gluten is found in cosmetics and hair products. Baking powder often contains gluten – although I’m skeptical of how useful baking powder is. Especially in brownies, as I’ve made them with or without, and can’t see any discernable difference, so I was happy to leave it out here. I’m still a little uncertain as to what gluten actually is – in my local healthfood shop you can buy large packets of a flour-like substance that is simply, and a little bizarrely, just called ‘gluten’.

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This recipe was inspired by something I had from the Hummingbird Bakery in London. They produce an amazing concoction: a layer of brownie, topped with a layer of cheesecake, then a layer of vibrantly pink raspberry-flavoured cream. I did away with the separate layers, and swirled a mixture of cream cheese, egg and crushed raspberries into the top of the brownie batter before it goes in the oven. Doing my bit to make coping without bread and pasta a little bit easier.

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies

Blondies

I have a mild obsession with cookbooks. I have a stack on my bedside table to read before I go to sleep, which is teetering to the point of being ridiculous. I have a (large) bookshelf in my room specifically to house my collection. Even though I rarely follow recipes, but use them as a jumping off point – to give me inspiration and ideas.

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This recipe (slightly adapted) is from a recent acquisition called Tea with Bea. It’s a beautiful book, full of gorgeous photographs of every recipe -I usually don’t make a recipe unless provided with an accompanying picture.

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Being a massive fan of brownies, but having never made their white chocolate cousin before, I thought I’d give it a shot. Bea says that it will convert people who don’t like white chocolate (I’m dubious as to whether such a person exists), and affirm the beliefs of those that do. My small contribution to the recipe was to add raspberries, whose sharp tang complements the intensely sweet gooey centre.

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This recipe involves quite a lot of waiting around – cooling and refridgerating the blondies so they will set enough to be cut into squares. But the result is well worth it, as they are incredible.

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