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cheesecake brownies

Just last month, over at The Feral Vegetarian Yahoo! group, we were discussing our favorite baked desserts. I offered up as mine: peanut butter or oatmeal cookies, both with chocolate chips; pecan pie; and, I lamented, prior to going vegan, the cheesecake brownies of my college days. Someone responded with the suggestion that I try to create my own vegan version using Tofutti cream cheese. As I do not use the prepared vegan cheeses, my creativity was stretched even further. Nevertheless, it sounded like a good and fun idea. So, here is my first attempt.

Brownies
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder*
1 teaspoon baking soda*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

(*) I used sodium-free versions:
Hain Pure Foods, Featherweight Baking Powder
Ener-G Baking Soda

Hazelnut Cheese
30 grams hazelnuts
20 grams (1/4 cup) oats
3/4 – 1 cup water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First prepare hazelnut cheese by pureeing all its ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place over medium heat in a saucepan and cook until thickened to desired consistency. Cool in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Plump raisins in hot water for fifteen minutes. Sift together dry ingredients. Drain raisins and combine with maple syrup and vanilla in a blender. Process until smooth. Mix gently, but thoroughly into dry ingredients.

Pour chocolate batter into a well-oiled,, 9×9 baking pan. Drop blobs of hazelnut cheese over top and gently spread to create a marble effect. I used 1/2 the cheese and saved the rest. Next time, I’ll likely use more and add sweetener to the cheese itself as well, so the brownie part doesn’t have to perform these duties by itself.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 8, fudgy, servings.

I set these out at work with the “warning” that they were an experiment in veganizing a favorite. The responses were all positive, with several commenting that they were very chocolatey and one saying you could not tell there was no dairy. :)

Each serving, as shown here, is 140 calories, 2 g fat, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 31 g carb.

5 Responses to “cheesecake brownies”

  1. Brandie says:

    Those brownies look great… though I’d probably substitute chocolate chips for the raisins. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Erin says:

    That *might* work, but the raisins are not noticed as raisins. They are thoroughly pureed and serve as the “fat” in the recipe. If you don’t like raisins, you’d be better off, I think, choosing a different fruit. Perhaps applesauce or bananas, though the latter would definitely lend their flavor. Prune puree would be more like the consistency obtained with the raisins. Good luck. :)

  3. Mary French says:

    The brownie cheese cake recipe sounds great! I can’t wait to try it. Ijust started a vegan blog(I’m new at blogging). Please visit my blog at vegangrandma.blogspot.com.

  4. Arturo Veve says:

    That brownie looks yummie. I consume one or two of the “not good for you” types weekly, but bought at the store. If I made a batch of your recipe, I’m afraid I’d eat it all, gaining more weight than if I bought a “bad one” at the store. However, I may try making it and taking it for tea and cookies time at the Buddhist group on Sunday. By the way, I love the anti spam word I just got : beer.

    cheers
    Arturo

  5. Erin says:

    Hehe. I choose the anti-spam words. :)

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