This cake is everything I love about summer fruits mixed with chocolate. Rich, dark brownie base and a tangy cheesecake filling, what’s not to love? Even though the base is quite thin, it gives a great depth of chocolate flavour, and it think you shouldn’t make it in a smaller tin, because you need it this thin. Any thicker, and it would take over the whole cake. This way, it just gives it that special touch, just like fudge sauce served over ice-cream. If you want, you can add bits of dried raspberries to the brownie base, it can only make it even better.
For the brownie base
200 grams butter
200 grams light brown sugar
40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 medium eggs
100 grams plain flour
1 ½ tablespoon cornflour (corn starch)
For the raspberry cheesecake filling
400 grams fresh organic raspberries
50 grams sugar
50 ml water
200 grams Mascarpone cheese
200 ml heavy cream
3 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine
For the garnish
100 grams fresh organic raspberries
To make the brownie base, dice the butter into a heavy bottomed pan. Sift in the cocoa powder, and melt it over medium heat until well blended. It may seem like the ingredients are not going to come together, but the butter melt slowly and mix with the cocoa. When it's completely melted, add the brown sugar, and mix well. Set it aside for a few minutes, until it cools down slightly. Add the fist egg to the warm batter and immediately whisk it in very well. Add two more eggs in the same fashion, and add the vanilla and blend really well.
When the eggs are blended in, sift in the plain flour and cornflour and gently fold it in the batter. Do not overmix, about 20-30 strokes with a spatula should be enough. Take a round baking pan with a removable bottom or sides (23 cm; 9"), grease and flour the bottom and sides, pour in the batter and gently level it. Bake it in a preheated oven, at 160°C (325°F) for about 20-25 minutes. Check it with a toothpick, to make sure it isn't overbaked. Do not run your knife around the edges, you need it to be somewhat stuck to the pan so the cheesecake filling won't leak out. Let it cool completely in the pan.
For the cheesecake filling, take the Mascarpone out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature. Place the raspberries, water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes, to cool down. Place the gelatine in a small bowl, pour over 4 tablespoons of cold water and leave it for about 10 minutes, to bloom. Once the raspberries are cooled and the Mascarpone has softened, place both in a large bowl and combine it with an electric mixer on medium.
Melt the gelatine over low heat (or in the microwave), take a few teaspoons of the Mascarpone mixture, mix it well with the gelatine, then pour everything back in the bowl and blend well on low. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, and gently fold it in the previous batter. Pour the filling over the cooled brownie base and place the whole cake in the fridge overnight. Serve it with fresh raspberries. Yields 16 servings.