There is something about food that brings people together. The joint appreciation or dislike of a food can cause a small fireworks of delight or disgust to ones senses. Lately my home has been overflowing with different aromas (seriously a neighbour complained the other day) from baked cookies to roast chicken, fresh mangoes and sweet, rich homemade fruit mince.
The sweet smell of homemade Christmas cakes and puddings take me
straight back to my childhood
. I remember Mum would come home from work where she ran her own wholesale cake business, supplying Christmas Cakes & Puddings to everyone from small health-food stores to Myer and (back in the day) Aherns. Often she would come home and envelope me in a big hug that, to me, was like eating a big slice of fruit cake.
The brown sugar and sherry lingered
on her clothes and in her hair.
Christmas came midway through the year for us, as Mum would begin baking early to fill orders. This year, I can't help but feel like I've become my mother. I've seen her looking at me through the mirror as I get older and in the way I flick my wrist or do my hair. Recently my gorgeous husband commented 'So this is what it'll be like when you're pregnant?' I was standing in the kitchen just having rolled out some pastry, my legs clad in long black leggings and my oversized, soft grey blue shirt covering the extra bits that have appeared in the making of many a recipe. I looked down at myself and realised, that in my own way I'd become my Mum. A home baker who loved to share her food and doesn't care what she looks like in the comfort of her own home. I know this as there was many a moment that I commented on her flour dusted clothing and that there was no way it was 'going public', at least not if I was going out with her. As for my husband? H gets to go out with me in oversized shirts and my 'good' leggings, that are not dusted with flour. He calls these my sexy liquorice legs.
Mum taught me most of what I know in the kitchen
and, thankfully, to wear different clothes outside of the house to what one has baked in. Although I differ alot from my mother, which is probably where some of my father's traits come through; quick whit, dodgy sense of humour, knowing which way is North and my love of being behind the lens,
. I'm so proud of my Mum and the life she has led; starting and running a deliciously successful business, loving my father (it can be hard at times), bringing up my brother and I and supporting us all the way. I'm glad that more than just a little bit of you has rubbed off on me, Mum.
Mum & I, March 2005 the day before we moved to Melbourne.
This cheesecake brownie is decadent and rich
, much like the Mississippi Mudcake that Mum baked at her shop. I must admit that I hated that cake as a child, it was far too rich for me. I always had it with the biggest dollop of whipped cream as to me this made it more 'savoury'. The cheesecake is the 'cream' for this delicious brownie, I'd suggest serving it with the warm fudge sauce that you can find in the latest edition of
, along with this recipe.
I can't believe it's been nearly two years since
! I knew as soon as I saw the
of 'Say Cheese' that this recipe had to be shared from the magazine, after all what says sweet cheese more than cheesecake? Especially swirled through a rich layer of brownie. Dive in, but make sure you're wearing an oversized shirt to cover the brownie belly that may arrive shortly after...
Decadent Cheesecake Brownies
180g brown sugar
125g dark chocolate (min 50%)
50g plain gluten free flour
1/4tsp gluten free baking powder
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
30g castor sugar
1egg, lightly whisked
Preheat oven to 160degrees Celsius. Line the base of a 20cm springform pan with baking paper and grease the edges of the pan.
Place butter, sugar and chocolate in a medium heavy based saucepan and melt over very low heat, until smooth. Allow to cool for 10minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix in the whisked eggs and chocolate mixture until just combined. Do not over mix or you’ll have a chewy, tough brownie.
Pour into prepared pan.
To make the cheesecake mixture.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or beat in a stand mixer until smooth. Dollop on top of the prepared brownie and with the handle of a spoon swirl the cheesecake and brownie mixtures together.
Bake for approximately 45-50minutes until the centre is still just a little bit wobbly.
Allow to cool in the pan.
Serve warm with hot fudge sauce.