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Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Stacks

A gorgeous and scrumptious treat to celebrate Valentine's Day!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • For the brownie batter:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1-1/2 sticks
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate broken up
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • OR
  • 1 box chewy brownie mix follow instructions on the box
  • For the filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened, 1/2 package
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves if you prefer, you can substitute strawberry preserves
  • 4 drips red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • For the homemade raspberry sauce:
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries you can substitute fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup confectionary sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the garnishes:
  • Heart-shaped marshmallows to decorate
  • Homemade chocolate sauce or store-bought

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325º F (163º C). Butter and flour 6 (4 x 4 inches or 10 x 10 cm) heart shaped baking pans or a 9 x 9 x 2-inch (23 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Place butter and chocolate in a large glass bowl. Microwave in three 30-second increments, stirring well until smooth and homogeneous.
  3. Whisk in sugar and flour mixture; then, eggs and vanilla. Spread into prepared pan(s).
  4. Bake at 325º F (163º C) for about 27 minutes (heart-shaped baking pans) or 35 minutes ( 9x9x2-inch or 23x23x5-cm baking pan), or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan (s) and let cool completely on a rack.
  5. With a serrated knife, slice in half horizontally. Line pan(s) with plastic wrap and insert top layer, cut side up, in pan. Reserve the other half/halves.
  6. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, raspberry preserves, and the red food coloring. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water in a small glass bowl and let stand approximately 5 minutes. Microwave 15 to 20 seconds until dissolved. Beat into cream cheese mixture. Then, in a separate bowl, whip 1 cup of the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold into cream cheese mixture and spread onto brownie layer in pan. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Remove from the fridge and top with remaining brownie layer, cut side down. Use plastic to lift stacked brownie from pan. With serrated knife, cut into 9 squares (if a 9 x 9 x 2 in pan was used). Top each square or heart with one marshmallow each, decorate with fresh raspberries, some of both raspberry and chocolate sauces. Serve chocolate brownie stacks immediately.
  7. To make the raspberry sauce: Place the berries, sugar, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes or until the fruits are soft. Stir in the lemon juice, remove from heat, and cool slightly. Purée in a blender or food processor; then, strain through a sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a ladle or spoon. Refrigerate. Use it to drizzle top of the brownie stacks.

Recipe Notes

Both the chocolate brownie stacks batter and its filling recipe were adapted from Chocolate Caramel Brownie Stacks from Family Circle Magazine - January 2013 edition.