Shavuot Recipe: Cherry Lychee Cheesecake Brownies
What’s with all the cheese on Shavuot thing? Shavuot is the holiday that commemorates “Zman Matan Torah” – the time when the Jews received the Torah from God at Mount Sinai. Prior to this, Jewish law wasn’t codified. That means that Jews didn’t keep kosher because there were no kosher laws. Thus, as soon as those kosher laws came into effect, whatever meat Jews had was no longer edible. As such, the first meal enjoyed by the Jews at Sinai after getting the Torah was, by neeccesity, a dairy meal. That’s why we try to have at least one dairy meal during Shavuot, and that’s why we presented these awesome Cherry Lychee Cheesecake Brownies for your consideration. These are actually REALLY awesome. They’re great for dinner, great any time, but with Shavuot around the corner, its a good time to contemplate making these. Also, here in Israel it’s cherry season, so of course we had to top off the Brownies with the freshest, yummiest available produce. Personal Chef extraordinaire Bracha Arnold put this all together – we just shot it – so you know it’s good. Also, after we shot the clip, I ate some and it was amazing! Anyway, here’s the recipe!
Cherry Lychee Sauce:
– 1 pound or just under 1 kilo of cherries
– The syrup from one can of Lychees
– 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
– 4 ounces (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
– 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs
– 1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Layer:
– 8 ounces (227 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
– 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 large egg
Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F or 160 degrees C and place the rack in the center of the oven. Prepare a 9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan lined with no-stick baking paper or aluminum foil if you don’t have the paper.
Pit the cherries and mix in the lychee juice. Cook till soft over a medium flame for about 20 minutes or until a bit soft. Don’t freak out if it turns purple, because it will!
Melt the butter and chocolate together over a medium flame. Take the melted chocolate, put it in a bowl and mix in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat the batter well. Stir in the flour and salt and mix vigorously until the batter is smooth. Remove 1/2 cup or 120 ml of the brownie batter and set it aside for later. Spread the what’s left of the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the baking pan.
Next, mix the room temperature cream cheese until it’s smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and mix until it’s smooth and creamy. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer. Evenly spoon dollops of the brownie batter you set aside earlier on top of the cream cheese filling. Run a knife or fork back and forth through the two batters until you have a neato marble-like effect.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the cream cheese is just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares – this can take several hours or even overnight! Remove the cake from the pan and cut with a sharp knife – you should be able to make 16 2 inch (5 cm) brownie pieces. Drizzle the Cherry Lychee sauce over the brownies before serving and prepare to enter cheese cake heaven!