Pink Martini

One of my favorite parts of bake day is picking the soundtrack for the morning.  Ya gotta have the right tunes to groove to while you’re skating around the kitchen.  Paul picked it this morning… Pandora’s Pink Martini station.  Perfection!

There’s nothing like a little Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” mixed in with Louis Armstrong’s “La Vie En Rose” along with Pink Martini’s “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love” and dotted with Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.”  It’s just a cool cat way to start your day.

Anyway, back to baking (apparently I think I’m a music commentator today).  The reason that the Pink Martini station was perfect for this morning is because I made these very elegant brownies.  An elegant brownie needs some classy music to help them come to fruition.   They’re just pretty, simple as that.

I did make some rookie mistakes with this one (darn music distracted me, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).  I didn’t soften the cream cheese, bringing it to room temperature (shocker).  I didn’t sift the cocoa powder with the flour.  That woulda been smart.  And finally, I used too much of the blackberry syrup to marbleize it correctly.  I don’t regret this last one though because the blackberry flavor really shines through.

But with those mistakes, the brownies still turned out beautifully.  Even with my clumsiness, they worked.  It’s a good recipe, easy to follow and lovely.

By the way when the bell dinged saying the brownies were done, Sherman (our golden retriever) came bolting in ready to beg for a treat. My dog is pathetically trained to look like he’s starving every Sunday morning.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies (recipe care of

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies.jpg


Brownies:  3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt

Blackberry Puree:  6 oz fresh or frozen blackberries, 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, 1/4 cup water

Cheesecake:  8 ounces cream cheese (softened), 1/4 cup greek yogurt, 1 large eggs (room temperature), 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:  Cook blackberry puree by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Use a whisk or spoon to help break down the blackberries. Once cooked, place a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and, using a spatula, squeeze through all of the liquid and dispose of the solids. Let cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Once combined, fold in cocoa powder and flour. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Cream for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Pour over brownie batter, spreading evenly to the edges. Drizzle the blackberry puree on top of the cheesecake batter and swirl using a fork, knife, or toothpick. Try to swirl only into the cheesecake batter, not the brownie batter. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cheesecake begins to turn golden and a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean. Place in fridge and allow to cool for at least 2 hours but up to overnight. Cut into 9 large squares. Store brownies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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