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Strawberry Cheesecake Truffle Brownies. Fudgy brownies topped with a creamy, no bake cheesecake layer, then covered with a rich dark chocolate ganache. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

Strawberry Cheesecake Truffle Brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened or dutch process cocoa I used King Arthur Flour's Double Dutch Dark Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive, vegetable or canola oil I used a mild olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry cheesecake filling:

  • 8 ounces cold block cream cheese I used Philadelphia
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.2 ounces freeze dried strawberries I used Trader Joe's

Chocolate ganache:

  • 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions

For the brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9" square pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt.

  3. Add oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges look like they're just pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Take care not to over bake or you'll risk a dry brownie.  Allow to cool completely. 

Make the cheesecake filling:

  1. Place freeze dried strawberries into a small food processor and process to a powder. Sift the powder to remove the seeds. Discard seeds and set powder aside. You should have about 4 1/2 Tablespoons of strawberry powder.

  2. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat cold cream cheese for 10 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Beat for about 30 seconds until fully combined. Sprinkle strawberry powder on top of mixture, then slowly pour cream into bowl and beat until combined and you have stiff peaks. Take care not to over beat.

  3. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over completely cooled brownies. Cover pan with foil and allow to chill for a couple of hours.

Make ganache:

  1. Heat cream and corn syrup in a pan on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave until hot and just beginning to simmer around the edges. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and glossy. Add vanilla and stir until combined. Set aside to cool for about 15-30 minutes. 

  2. Spread cooled ganache evenly over chilled cheesecake layer. Return to refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Remove brownies from foil. Cut into squares and serve. (See recipe notes for cutting tips.)


Recipe Notes

*There are multiple cooling steps involved so plan ahead. It may take a few hours for the brownies to completely cool. You could make your brownies one day and then make the filling and topping the following day.

*If you cut it with a cold knife and the ganache is very firm from the refrigerator, you may crack the top of the ganache. To avoid this, you can let the squares sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes so that they are still chilled but the ganache is a little softer to cut. I was able to get some nice clean, non-chocolate smudged cuts that way. I also had some success with gently heating a sharp knife in a cup of hot water and wiping it dry before making a cut. Repeat heating and wiping clean after each cut. This method will melt the chocolate a bit and you may see that smudge the cheesecake layer. The secret is to not over heat the knife. Just make it barely warm enough to cut through the ganache layer.

*Brownies should be stored in the refrigerator.

*I almost always add chocolate chips to my brownies. This time I omitted them, but feel free to add a cup of your favorite chips to the brownie batter, if you desire.

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