Perfect Avocado Brownies with Cinnamon and Blueberries (vegan)

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 This is such a momentous day. I finally, finally perfected avocado brownies. Celebrate with me! It’s been a long and arduous journey, but we made it. If you follow me on instagram you will have seen the highs and lows, the almost perfect and the completely ruined brownies that came before these mighty ones today. I feel like this might be one of my baking life’s biggest accomplishments, not to toot my own trumpet too much! 

But seriously. Let’s talk about brownies.

I’ve made a few healthy brownies on this blog before. These black bean ones were like a healthy, protein-rich fudge. I’ve made tea-infused raw brownies (so good!), and these banana brownies are so popular with everyone I make them for. But in my mind none of these recipes were really “brownies”. They were various shades of chocolate cake/slice. Brownies must be rich. Like these caramel brownies. They must be super fudgy but also chewy and they must taste so chocolatey you have to drink a glass of milk (or almond milk) alongside it. 

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They shouldn’t taste like banana or almonds or orange or any other such nonsense! They should taste like BROWNIES. And also be really good for you, because I want to eat the whole pan. 

My experiments started to take a turn for the awesome when I bought My Darling Lemon Thyme‘s new cookbook. I seriously recommend it to anyone who loves whole-food recipes and stunning photography. Emma’s book is actually inspirational it’s so beautiful! I used her raspberry and pistachio brownies as a starting point on my quest for the perfect brownie. 

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Over a series of experiments I replaced the olive oil with avocado to squeeze in those healthy fats, and replaced the combination of gluten-free flours with wholemeal wheat. (Because I eat wheat and it’s much cheaper). I’ve included her measurements for gluten free in the recipe, but I’ve never tried them so I can’t give any tips for how it will go unfortunately. I also squeezed in lots of cinnamon and blueberries in there because hello?! Match made in heaven! 

The result was incredible. Rich, fudgy, sweet, holy crap. Crackly top, vanilla ice cream, you can see where this is going. Brownie heaven. I actually can’t believe how healthy they are. Compared to my normal recipe which has 2 1/2 cups of sugar, half a kilo of chocolate and a whole block of butter, these only had one block of chocolate, one cup of raw sugar and no butter at all! Plus wholemeal flour! No brownie coma for me 🙂 The trick to making dessert recipes healthier but still delicious is to replace the traditional ingredients with just as good healthy ingredients. You can’t just cut out sugar and fat and expect it to taste good.

The combination of sweet blueberries, cinnamon and vanilla extract add natural sweetness that in my mind tastes much better than plain old sugar. And the avocado, as they say, really is impossible to taste. It does give the texture a slightly thicker consistency and the brownies smell a bit like avocado, but don’t fear that your brownies will come out tasting like baked avocado. They won’t. I 100% believe everybody should make these brownies at least once in their lives. They’re that yummy 🙂

One Year Ago: Rhubarb and Coconut Crumble Slice

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Avocado and Blueberry Brownies: Adapted from here

200g (7 ounces) dark vegan chocolate, broken into chunks (plus extra 50g chopped)

185g (1 cup, about 2 avocados) perfectly ripe and green avocados

1 tbsp olive oil 

200g (1 cup) raw or brown sugar

3 eggs OR vegan replacement (3 tbsp chia mixed with 6 tbsp water, or 1.5 very ripe mashed bananas)

3/4 cup (75g) wholemeal flour OR 1 cup almond meal mixed with 2/3 cup fine brown rice flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

40g (1/3 cup) raw cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

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Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm by 20cm tin (8 inch) with baking paper. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. 

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, cocoa powder and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, or mix the chia seeds with the water or mash up your bananas. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the sugar until it is mostly dissolved. In a blender, blend the avocado with the eggs (or chia/banana) and tsp of vanilla extract. 

Mix together the chocolate mix and the avocado mix well. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Stir through the blueberries and extra chocolate, and smooth in to your brownie pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is set. Serve warm, with ice cream (you know you want to). 

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Tropical Fruits and Coconut Granola Bars (vegan and gluten free!)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Sugar Free

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 At the end of my two month holiday a few months ago, for the first time in my whole trip I had two days by myself. I left my sister and friend at a bus stop in Sukhotai, Thailand and began the seven hour journey back to Bangkok on my own. I shed a little tear watching my friends getting smaller through the window, knowing I wouldn’t see them for a whole month. It’s strange spending every waking minute with someone for so long, and then suddenly not at all. 

By the time I arrived in Bangkok the sun was setting. By the time I got to my hotel and checked in, it was well and truly dark. I had told myself I would get my last street food meal for dinner that night, but I confess I got a veggie subway and a bag of fresh fruit instead. Sitting in my hotel room eating mango slices, watching reruns of The Texas Bachelorette, I felt homesick for the first time. I missed my dog, I missed my family and the friends who I hadn’t seen in weeks. But mainly I just missed talking to people I knew. 

In the airport (which I accidentally arrived at 6 hours before my flight…curse you 24 hour time!) I spent all my remaining money on presents for my family, including two huge bags of dried fruit for my Step Dad. My plans were to make him some tropical granola bars as soon as I got home, because he love granola bars. 

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 My grand plans got sidetracked by a number of other exciting dishes that had to come first, and somehow three months passed before I could get around to it! Better late than never right?

These granola bars are packed full of tropical flavours and they’re the best I’ve ever made, hands down! I have so many issues with granola bars. I hate when they crumble. I HATE IT. I hate when they’re overly sweet or so chewy your teeth almost fall out. Granola bars aren’t something I wanted to settle with, they had to be juuust right. 

It’s hard to get a balance between making a super healthy bar, which is so easy considering how much goodness you can pack in, as well as making them taste as good as a cafe-bought bar. These bars have found a happy compromise. They are rich from a maple syrup and coconut butter caramel, but also bursting with superfoods like goji, sunflower seeds, coconut and mango. 

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 I’m sad that the granola bars were oh so good, but the photos came out oh so bad! Sometimes I just can’t even deal with my photos. I mean, please. There needs to be an intervention. Someone needs to come and sit me down and explain everything there ever is to know about anything to do with my camera because my brain has turned to mush after all the uni work I did this week and I can’t improve by myself. I JUST CAN’T. 

You’re just going to have to trust me with this one. It’s such a great recipe, I know I’ll be using it from now on when the need for granola bars arises. You don’t have to take it down the tropical road if you don’t want to, that’s just an idea I had while I was waiting in Bangkok airport for my lonely flight home. 

I also ate four scoops of banana and chocolate ice cream while I was there, but that’s another story. 

If you try adding different flavours, let me know how it goes! And happy May! 

One Year Ago: Chocolate and Caramel Banana Muffins

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Tropical Granola Bars: Adapted from Ottolenghi

45g each hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and desiccated coconut

190g rolled oats

30g ground almonds 

50g dried mango

50g dried pineapple

50g dried goji berries

1 ripe banana

 

For the caramel:

75g raw sugar

85g coconut butter, or oil I think would work too

85g maple syrup (or honey for non-vegan)

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Method:

Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line a 20 x 23cm tin with baking paper. Soak the fruit briefly in water to soften a bit. Cut into small chunks, about the size of the goji berries. Roughly chop up the nuts. Stir together all the ingredients except the caramel and the banana in a large bowl. 

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter and syrup and sugar and stir well so that everything is combined. Cook for a minute, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir well. Mash the banana and stir through the mix. Pour into the lined tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top. Allow the bars to cool completely before chopping with a serrated knife. 

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Apple, Almond and Raspberry Crumble Cake

Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free, opt. Vegan

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 The first cake I ever made was a peach upside down cake. I was on holidays at Jervis Bay and me, my sister and friend were thinking of something to do. It was raining, so we couldn’t go swimming or bike riding. And it was still those olden days when kids didn’t have Iphones or laptops until they were at least thirteen. So we decided to make a cake. We cut up a peach and put it in the bottom of a cake pan. Then we got a Green’s cake mix and added the water and eggs, then poured it over the top. Pretty impressive for some little kiddies right? If only we’d buttered the pan. 

I remember making that cake was the first baking I’d ever seen or done in my life. No one baked in my family and we didn’t even really eat sweets, besides for cream and jam sponge cake on our birthdays. I thought the cake was incredible! The peaches sunk into the cake and made a crispy, jammy layer on the bottom of the pan. The cake was raw in the middle and overflowing at times, but it was a real cake! Full of fresh peaches no less. It made me think of all the other possible things you could try to put in a cake. It made me realise that cakes don’t have to only be one flavour! Recipes are just a guideline ripe and ready for adapting!

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 While it can be fun to follow a recipe exactly, especially a complicated one, and come out on the other side with the perfect chocolate mousse or the perfect meringue, making your own way usually leads to the most memorable desserts. This cake/crumble/fruit blob today is the perfect example of where deviating from the recipe can end up in something way yummier and more exciting than you originally intended. I had been dreaming of these rhubarb crumble bars for ages, and was planning on making an apple and rhubarb version with cinnamon instead of coconut. And then I lost the rhubarb…apparently it was in the drinks fridge. (Yes, the most plausible place to keep rhubarb, I agree) But I’d already cut up all my apples!

I used London Bakes Blackberry and Oat Crumble as a base and decided to adapt it to make some gluten free raspberry and apple crumble bars. Everyone likes raspberry and apple right? But when the “bars” came out of the oven, bars they were not. I’d added too much fruit to base ratio to start with, and the crumble was freestyling all over the place, more like an apple crisp than a bar! Oh no! But then I tried it. Wow. It was so rich and almondy and tart from the berries, gooey and sweet from the apples, crunchy and coconutty, cinnamon flecked, vanilla scented, heaven. I wouldn’t change a single thing in this recipe. It’s the perfect comforting bowl of crumble, because there’s a nutty almond base that tastes exactly like the filling in an almond croissant! And it soaks up all those pesky fruit juices. Vanilla Ice Cream is the only thing that should accompany a big, steaming serve of this apple and raspberry almond…cake? Crumble? Let’s just call it pudding. 

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Apple, Almond and Raspberry Crumble Cake: Adapted from this recipe

300g (2.5 cups) chopped apple (about 3 medium)

50g (1/3 cup) raspberries

30g (2 tbsp) demerara sugar

50g (1/2 cup) almond meal

55g (1/2 stick) butter or coconut butter, cold and cubed 

30g (1/4 cup) oats

20g (2 tbsp) mixed seeds and slivered nuts

 

110g (1 stick) butter or coconut butter

160ml (3/4 cup) honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs or 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water and left to gel

100g (1 cup) almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

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Use your fingers to crumble the 50g almond meal, 50g butter and raw sugar into a bread-crumb like consistency. Stir in the oats and seeds. Preheat the oven to 160C (340F). Line a 20cm x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with baking paper. Beat the 110g butter and honey together until smooth and fluffy. Add in the chia eggs or normal eggs and beat until smooth. Add in the vanilla, then the almond meal and baking powder. Mix until smooth. Pour into the bottom of the tin and smooth down. Sprinkle over the chopped apple (you can leave the skin on) and the raspberries. Sprinkle over the crumble mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft and oozing and the cake edges are set. Eat warm with ice cream! 

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Tea Infused Raw Chocolate Brownies (vegan, gluten free and sugar free)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Raw
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Do you know what I find really unnerving? When someone tells me they don’t like chocolate. I’m serious. It’s not just a little bit strange. It’s not like I don’t like picky eaters. Or people that don’t like some delicious things, there’s lots of those people in the world. I have a friend that doesn’t like cheese. (I know…) And I can accept that. But telling me you don’t like chocolate, it’s like saying you don’t like joy. Or you don’t like friendship. It’s like saying you don’t like life! It makes me wonder what kind of person they really are…

Maybe that’s extreme, but you have to admit it’s weird. Chocolate is just so necessary in life. I eat something in chocolate form Every. Day. Not always rich and decadent, usually plain or in the form of cocoa powder transformed into something amazing but still healthy. Brownies are a life-long obsession that will never quit, so this week when the chocolate craving called that’s what it had to be. I’ve made black bean and avocado brownies before that did not taste like burritos! But were instead dark and fudgy. But I wanted to try something that was easy to make as well as completely raw, and I wanted to try a new flavour as well! 

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 There’s been so many iconic moments in my life defined by chocolate I can’t even imagine living without it. All my teenage sleepovers were defined by cheap cadbury milk bars, horror movies and packets of kit kats and chocolate mint slices. I remember once watching all three Lord of the Rings movies in a row in a marathon and eating eight, EIGHT pieces of dark chocolate caramel slice in the process. (I don’t even want to know what that says about me). So many special occasions have ended with big slices of celebratory cake covered in chocolate icing. Me and one friend once pulled a half-cooked tray of brownies out of the oven while they were still raw and ate the whole thing with a spoon. That last one was actually kind of a regretful memory…but still, so many sweet childhood moments. 

Cocoa powder has so many health benefits and natural antioxidants I don’t understand the negative hype around chocolate! No I’m only joking. But it is really good for you. In its raw form, the nutrients and benefits are still preserved. You don’t get that most intense of chocolate flavours that comes from Dutch processing, but good quality cocoa is so deep and dark naturally it doesn’t need to be missed. Also you can use a blend to have the best of both worlds! That’s what I like to do for cakes and special occasions where chocolate intensity is imperative. 

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 These brownies have the most amazing flavour from being infused with black tea before being blended. I used organic apricots as half of the fruit, because soaking medjool dates would make them too soft I think. Non-organic apricots (the bright orange ones) are not as sweet as their natural brothers and cannot really be substituted. Try sultanas, raisins or figs. My little piddly blender is not really up to making vegan desserts on a daily basis. They always seem to require such intense blending! If you’re in the same spot as me, simple solution. Just lovingly share the load of your blender. I pound the walnuts myself in a mortar and pestle, because once they go in the blender that’s the smallest they’re going to get. Soak your fruit for extra long, cut it up in to tiny pieces. Do it in small batches and let the motor cool down in-between ingredients. Love your blender and it will love you ❤

There are lots of great things in these brownies and they have a perfect truffle-like texture when cold from the fridge. Don’t be fooled, they don’t taste like a classic fudgy chocolate brownie. Of course they don’t! But they taste like something else that is just as good, if not the same. It’s strange how processed flavours have evolved from natural flavours found in plants and whole ingredients. Like caramel for example. You taste caramel tones in things like honey, dates and maple syrup. Things that all occur naturally but are often discarded as not being as good as the “real” thing. Or coca cola! Apparently according to Jamie Oliver  it’s meant to taste like poached fruit in cinnamon and spices. Hmm…They kind of missed with that one. I think someone accidentally added tar to the original recipe and they tried to adjust it with mountains of sugar. 
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I’ve been experimenting with lots of new recipes this week and I’m really excited to share them. There’s a very summery frozen yogurt in my freezer that I am ready to destroy! Yuuum. I’m sorry for all my Northern Hemisphere friends because I know your summer is coming to a close, but the weather is beautiful here! It feels like the middle of November and it’s only September! Plus! Exciting news, I’ve paid for all my flights for the end of the year! Hoollllla. If you haven’t read already, I’m going to Europe and Thailand for two months and am so excited! 

If you’re feeling under-brownied and want to try some healthy brownies I’ve seen around and been inspired by recently, check out these bad boys:

The classic raw brownie from My New Roots

Salted raw brownie! Yuum from The Vedge

Coffee and Chocolate match made in heaven from Gluten Free Vegan Girl

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 Tea Infused Raw Chocolate Brownies:

350g (1.5 cups) medjool dates

300g (1.5 cups) organic apricots or sultanas

2 cups fresh shelled walnuts
1 cup strong brewed black tea

80g (5 tbsp) cocoa powder

 Soak the apricots in tea until soft (at least 20 minutes). Blend all the ingredients together. Press into a plastic-lined 20 x 20 (8 x 8) pan and chill for at least 4 hours. Remove with the plastic and cut in to slices. Keep in the fridge and dust with icing sugar. Yum!

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Rhubarb and Coconut Crumble Slice

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I have one thing to say about this cake. It made me do something I have done never before. Never. Before. I had just taken the first photo, picked up a knife to cut out an artful slice. Before I knew what was happening my camera had been flung to the side, I had grabbed a plate and was eating an enormous piece right there in the morning sunshine. It was glorious. 
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The base is a buttermilk cake that bakes into a deep, golden yellow full of lemon zest and cinnamon. On top of this, fresh rhubarb is chopped up with sweet and crisp apples. This is tossed with sugar and lemon juice so that it bakes into a sweet, jammy, tart centre. What makes this cake perfect though is the coconut and brown sugar topping, that bakes into a deep brown crunchy crumble. I ate it while it was still warm and the fruit juices were just starting to set into a ruby jelly around the edges. I made it to last a few days, and I’m sure it would have tasted lovely the next morning with some tea. Unfortunately everyone that’s walked through the door has taken one look and demanded a slice, and then looked up with exactly the same look of “whaaat is this slice TALKIN ABOUT.” Eight hours later there’s hardly any left.
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I read about this delicious recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and was drawn to it because of the huge bunch of rhubarb we had. Family friends recently gave us a bag full of lemons from their tree. The zest was so fragrant I increased the amount to two teaspoons and added lemon juice to the rhubarb and apple. The coconut in the topping was a little bit of an experiment, but I’m so glad I tried it. It makes the crumble chunky and crispy, and adds a tropical flavour. If you don’t have any rhubarb, stone fruits would work well instead. Apples could be nice except the sugar would have to be reduced, otherwise it might end up too sweet.
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Rhubarb and Coconut Crumble Slice: Adapted from here

500 grams (17.5 ounces, 1 pound) rhubarb, cut into 1cm chunks

2 small apples, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tsp lemon zest and the juice of the whole lemon

150 grams (2/3 cup) sugar + 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar, separate

2 large eggs

110 grams (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter

165 grams (1 + 1/3 cups) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

100ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk 

Toss the apple, rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice with 150g of the sugar and set aside. Preheat the oven to 165C and line a 20 by 25cm pan (also works with slightly larger) with baking paper so that the edges are overhanging. Beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy and light and slowly add the eggs one at a time. Whisk the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together and stir half into the mix, than stir in half the buttermilk. Repeat and mix until just combined. Pat into the pan with a spatula and pour the fruit on top evenly. 
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Topping:

50 grams plain flour

85 grams fine desiccated coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

50 grams brown sugar

55 grams butter, melted. 

Stir all the ingredients together until lumpy and toss over the fruit. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden and the cake is no longer crumby on a skewer. Allow to cool so the fruit is set before removing from the pan and cutting into slices. 

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Rich Chocolate and Caramel Brownies

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I find it really hard to resist buying cake and muffin pans that come in funny shapes. When I bought the heart shaped pan I used to make these brownies, I justified it by wrapping it in Christmas paper, putting it under the tree and addressing it to me. 

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I can now justify the purchase with these brownies. No other pan would do something so chocolatey and gooey and rich justice! 

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These brownies are made with very dark chocolate as well as a generous amount of cocoa powder. They are dotted with large chunks of dark chocolate that melts from the heat of the oven. In the centre, there is a dollop of salted caramel that runs out once you break one open with your fork. I was faced with a terrible dilemma recently when someone gave me two jars of salted caramel. One side of me was like “noooo using pre-bought sauces is sin!” and the other was like “nooooo wasting is a sin!” and seeing as the ingredients were just sea salt, cane sugar and butter, I thought it would be ok to make an exception this once. To recreate this recipe you could use dulce de leche, good quality store bought caramel or make your own. (Or leave it out). I can’t actually link to any external recipe because I followed one on a recipe card my friend gave me for a birthday. It’s the best book of recipe cards ever, each one dedicated to chocolate. Every single recipe turns out AMAZING! Although saying that, I haven’t tried the beef stew with chocolate sauce yet…Here is the brownie recipe:IMG_4782

Chocolate Caramel-Filled Brownies:

300g (10.5 ounces) dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)

150g (5 ounces) dark chocolate cut into chunks

150g (1 + 1/3 sticks) butter, cubed

350g (1 + 3/4 cups) brown sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

60g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

80g (3/4 cup) flour

200g (1/2 can, 7 ounces) dulce de leche or caramel of spoonable consistency

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Method:

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line either a 20cm by 20cm square cake pan, 12 muffin cases or 10 friand holes with baking paper. Over a pot of simmering water melt the 300g chocolate with the butter until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar and leave to cool slightly. Mix in gently the eggs, and then the chocolate chips. Sift over the cocoa powder and flour and fold until just combined. Pour half of your brownie mix into your prepared pan or muffin holes. Using two teaspoons or a melon scooper, carefully spoon a small dollop of caramel into the middle of each one. If using a pan just do dollops every 2cm or so. Cover with the remaining brownie and bake for 15 minutes to 25 minutes, checking so that when the top is just set and the middle slightly wobbly you take them out. Once cool dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar.
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Brownie and Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

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I may have got a bit excited when my friend said I could make a cake for her 19th birthday. I possibly got a little over-excited. You could even say I let my excitement get the better of me. When I asked what she felt like and she alluded to light, coconut, fruity, that kind of cake, I think my brain may have been invaded for a brief period. IMG_3894

Instead what we have here is a cheesecake, folded through with chunks of milk chocolate brownie, slathered in dark chocolate ganache and topped with the freshest, reddest strawberries I have bought in quite a while. I was inspired by this amazing cake from Smitten Kitchen but, being nervous about my cups and tablespoon using skills, I used my own brownie recipe (saving the extra for other purposes- my mouth) and a slightly modified cheesecake recipe. The strawberries were an ode to the birthday girls original request for fruit.
IMG_3887The milk chocolate brownies were an attempt to dial down the richness of the cake. As well as this the biscuit base has massively reduced sugar and the filling does as well. Even so, this is not the dessert for the diabetes-ridden amongst us. It is very rich, very chocolatey, It is creamy and fudgy and crunchy all at the same time, and the strawberries are fresh distractions that sit happily on their bed of silky chocolate. I don’t know how Deb from Smitten Kitchen comes up with such great birthday cake ideas, but once you have a look at her sight you’ll agree. There’s just about every perfect birthday cake idea known to man on there.
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I recommend you make this cake. It may not win the beauty award, but it will make you, and your family, and your friends, very very happy. Or if you can’t be bothered, just make the brownies and add a swirl of cream cheese through the middle! I won’t tell anyone. IMG_3838

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Cheesecake: Recipe adapted from here:
1 quantity of This Brownie Recipe, minus the caramel.

For the Base:

250g (or 2 cups) crushed chocolate biscuits. I used Arnotts chocolate ripple

70g (full 2/3 cup) butter, melted

25g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients together well. Press into a lined and greased 23cm springform pan and bake for ten minutes, until firm.

Filling:

650g (23 ounces, scant 1.5 pounds) softened cream cheese

4 eggs at room temperature

200g (1 cup) granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Slowly add  eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Slowly add sugar and vanilla and stop beating as soon as they are absorbed. Fold through about 2 cups of the chopped brownies, or as many as you feel you want in your ratio. Pour the filling into your prepared pan. Put a tray in the bottom of your oven filled with water, and place the cheesecake on a rack above this. Cook at 170° for 40 minutes until the outside is set but the middle is still wobbly. Leave in the oven with the door open to cool completely. Chill overnight. 

Ganache: Heat 55g (1/4 cup) heavy cream with 55g (1/4 cup) butter until almost boiling. Pour over 85g (scant 1/2 cup) dark chocolate pieces and stir until combined. Cool briefly before pouring on the cheesecake and smoothing over the surface. Top with strawberries or whatever berry is available and best. (About 250g or half a pound). Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar.