Hummingbird Bakery Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

So now that we are into February, and the month of luuuuurve, the shops are full of Valentine’s Day themed cards, gifts, edibles and whatnot. It’s the time of year when, in theory, I like to go all-out and bake a bazillion pink cakes festooned with love hearts and sprinkles.

Anyway, thanks to getting distracted by all the other delicious things to bake out there, the pink/hearts/sprinkles thing never really happens. So this year, I decided the blog needed something V-day themed, but would happily satisfy my cravings for all other things cakey, chocolatey and so on.

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I remembered these raspberry cheesecake brownies, first tasted at the Hummingbird Bakery oh, approximately seven years ago (ugg feeling old) and a favourite of mine until they somehow dropped off the radar.

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I had a pack of cream cheese, some whipping cream, chocolate, plenty of eggs…so hey, it was as if it was fate.

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Last time I was somewhat health-conscious so used low-fat everything and sugar alternatives. This time, I just went with the full whammy. You only live once, eh?

The recipe for these is pretty much all over the internet. You can find it here and on various blogs where everybody raves about what a great brownie/cheesecake/raspberry cream/mysterious thing-of-joy it is. I divided all the ingredients by three, and baked it in a loaf tin. Otherwise there would be far too much raspberry cheesecake brownie lying around for our own good! They’re tasty, perhaps not as amazing as I remembered but then I’ve come down with a bit of a cold so my tastebuds are a little faulty this week.

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Want some other Valentine’s Day themed bakes? Check out my red velvet cupcakes, baci di dama or decorated sugar cookies.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cake. A hit-and-miss bake for me.

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The deep red colour of red velvet cake is oddly appealling. I first ate one at the Hummingbird Bakery, and I rather liked the unusual taste – a little bit of vanilla, hints of chocolate, and something else I can’t put my finger on. Perhaps it’s the red food colouring. The quantity that goes into these cakes is always quite horrifying!

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Last time I tried these, they didn’t rise properly, and they tasted a little funny. This time they rose like a dream. They were almost a little too light. I know it’s traditional, but I’m tempted to get rid of the step where you mix bicarbonate of soda with vinegar, and replace this with baking powder.

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Originally I was going to pipe the icing on, but I put the wrong nozzle on the piping bag, so in the end went for Hummingbird Bakery style swirls. I feel there was still a little something missing in the taste of these, though they were certainly better once cold, and the icing had set properly. I’m not sure what – I have seen lots of rave reviews for the Hummingbird Bakery recipe (which is what I used) but I might have to try a few others and compare them all.

Still they photographed well. I totally missed the boat for a Valentine’s Day post, but simply couldn’t resist a bit of a romantic theme for these. Come on, they’re red cakes! So out came the rose, and the petals, and I had my fun. Oddly for this time of year, and considering the stormy weather, there was still one perfectly formed red rose clinging to the bushes. So there it went into the photo. Mwah, mwah. Feel the lurrve.

Valentine Sugar Cookies

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!

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Regardless of whether you are coupled-up, single or even in a polygamous five-way….this is THE best time of the year for kitsch baking. Cover everything with hearts, pink icing, glitter and rejoice. January is over, the worst of the Winter blues is past. Spring is coming!

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Biscuits store well in a tin, and always go down well in a crowd. I had a lot of leftover lemon sugar cookie dough from Christmas and I wanted originally to make some biscuits that I could sandwich together with raspberry jam. However, I completely ruined the first batch of biscuits by a) burning them and b) letting them get totally stuck to the baking sheet. So, there weren’t quite enough left biscuits left for sandwiching purposes. On the bright side, I got the chance to test out my new food colouring from Squires Kitchen.

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This shade here is Poinsetta, and I think it’s pretty spot on!

It seems I am inherently unable to go totally OTT when it comes to decorations; I rather like the contrast of bright red icing and plain lemon biscuit. The rest of the sprinkles, sparkles, and sugar flowers might have to wait until next time.

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