… Decadence … and Then Some!
I like to tinker with unhealthy recipes to make them better for us and to sometimes even hide full-on nutritional benefits in them without any detectible flavor or textural differences. This is NOT one of those times.
This recipe was designed to be fully indulgent, naughty to all ends, a pure guilty pleasure that I have no remorse in making. We just need that occasionally, right?
These gluten-free, dairy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies are deliciously wonderful, nutritionally bad, and so completely satisfying. And that’s okay with me right now. I’ll get back on the healthy bandwagon soon. They’re rich, creamy, sweet, have an ooey-gooey goodness texture. One brownie will completely satisfy any cravings you have, so you’ll definitely need to share these, or cut them into individual portions and freeze them for your next undeniable sweet tooth attack. You know it will come!
I used my favorite gluten-free, dairy-free brownie recipe (well, one of them, minus the marshmallows) for the double chocolate batter.
Wanting, aka needing, to keep these brownies soy-free as well, I turned to Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread. Combined with my other ingredients, this provided just the right tang and texture as a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free cream cheese substitute.
For sweet cherries with a luscious, velvety sauce, I used just a half a can of Comstock (Duncan Hines) More Fruit Cherry Pie Filling. I like using the “more fruit” variety because I prefer its fruit to sauce ratio. The entire can would have made these brownies much too soupy and created an over-powering sweetness. Half a can was perfect.
With dollops of the “cream cheese” spread and cherry pie filling scattered over the brownie batter, then swirled, I like how there is a little bit of each component in every bite, including the extra chocolate chips that give a surprise chunky nibble here and there.
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the cooked brownies to chill in the fridge to achieve the perfect consistency. They need that downtime. The reward for waiting will be a texture teetering between cheesecake, lava cake, and moist brownie. Well worth the wait.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 45-50 minutes
Oven temp: 350ºF
Chill time: until room temp, then about 4 hours in the refrigerator
Makes: 12-15 servings
Ingredients for cream cheese style filling:
8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese substitute – I use Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten then divided in half (you’ll only be using half of the egg)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for brownies:
1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I prefer Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum – omit if your flour already contains it
1/2 cup chocolate chips – I prefer Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
1 cup (85 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup grapeseed oil – or another cooking oil (not olive oil though)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients:
Half a can (about 10 ounces) cherry pie filling, stirred well to distribute cherries throughout the sauce before scooping – I use Duncan Hines brands, either Comstock or Wilderness
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper large enough to allow the ends to hang over the edge of the baking dish. Set aside.
Combine cream cheese substitute, ¼ cup sugar, half of the beaten egg, and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Stir together flour, guar gum and chocolate chips in small bowl. Set aside.
Combine cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl large enough to hold all of the brownie batter. Whisk. Add boiling water and half of the oil into cocoa mix and stir well. Stir in sugar and remaining oil until smooth. One at a time, whisk in eggs and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture just until blended.
Spread brownie mixture evenly into prepared baking dish.
Dollop “cream cheese” mixture over brownie batter. Spoon cherry pie filling over brownie batter. Using a knife, spreader, or the handle of a spoon, drag the utensil through the ingredients to swirl together slightly in a free-form pattern, just enough to slightly combine the chocolate, cream cheese, and cherries together but not so much that you completely mix them.
Bake brownies in a preheated 350ºF oven, on center rack, for 45-50 minutes. Center of brownies will still jiggle a bit and not be solid, but the edges of the brownie will pull away from the parchment paper. A toothpick inserted into center is not a good test for doneness with this recipe.
Remove from oven and cool brownies, still in pan, completely to room temperature on a cooling rack. Place a paper towel over top of brownies, then cover pan with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and chill 4 hours or longer.
Serve by cutting brownie into squares. Brownies can be eaten cold, or allow them to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes for full flavor and texture.
Store any remaining brownies back in fridge for up to 3 days. Brownies can be cut into individual servings, wrapped in plastic wrap, placed into a resealable plastic bag, then frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in fridge a few hours, or eat slightly frozen. (I’ve not tried defrosting them in the microwave.)
This post has also been shared on www.vegetarianmamma.com.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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