Chocolate-Cherry Lambic Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate-Cherry Lambic Cheesecake Brownies

If you like this recipe, but don't want to add the beer, it will still turn out well. Just add the fresh cherries to the brownie batter and bake. You can usually find Lambic beer at liquor stores and the most common brand is Lindemans. Lambic-style beers are low alcohol, come from Belgium, and are made from fruit like cherries, raspberries, peaches, apples, etc. 

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes:  1 large 9"x13" pan of brownies

Ingredients

Brownie Batter

2 cups pitted sweet cherries, cut in half
1 12-oz bottle cherry Lambic beer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided (1 12-oz bag)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

1¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cheesecake Batter

2 8-oz packages room temperature cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
½ cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Brownie Batter

Put the cherries in a bowl, or a large measuring cup, and pour the beer over them. Set the cherries aside to soak while making the brownie batter.

Put the butter in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add 1½ cups chocolate chips and stir until melted. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder and remaining ingredients together. This will help to remove any lumps in the cocoa powder. Add the dry ingredients to the pot with the butter and chocolate mixture, whisking until blended. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Strain the cherry liquid into a small saucepan. Add the cherries to the brownie batter, gently folding them in.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat to medium and cook until reduced by ¾ and syrupy. Make sure to watch the liquid towards the end. It can easily burn if reduced by too much.  

Cheesecake Batter

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. This can be done with an electric mixer or handheld beater for best results.

Brownie Assembly

Lightly spray a 9”x13” baking pan with non-stick spray, or brush with melted butter. Start with the brownie batter. Transfer the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Next, place spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter on top, in random spots. Take a knife and swirl the two batters together. Pour the cherry Lambic reduction over the top and bake for roughly 1 hour. Begin checking the batter around 45 minutes to see how the brownies are doing. The center should be fully set, not jiggly. The brownies are really moist because of the cherries, so it's best to fully bake them. The center pieces will still be pretty gooey. 

*Chef Tip: Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Make sure that it is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan so that you can pull on it to get the brownies out. This way, you can cut them on a cutting board.

Start with the brownie batter. Transfer the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Next, place spoonsful of the cheesecake batter on top, in random spots. Take a knife and swirl the two batters together. Pour the cherry Lambic reduction over the top and bake for roughly 1 hour. Begin checking the batter around 45 minutes to see how the brownies are doing. The center should be fully set, not jiggly. The brownies are really moist because of the cherries, so it's best to fully bake them. The center pieces will still be pretty gooey.