Vegan berry cheesecake brownies, made by topping a fudgy vegan brownie batter with a tangy cashew cream and fresh berry swirl. See the recipe notes for a topping option that doesn't require already-made cashew cream cheese.
Whisk or beat together the cashew cream cheese and cornstarch.
Add the cherries to a small saucepan along with the coconut sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium-low heat, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the cherries are well-softened.
Depending on what appliances you have, either mash the cherry mixture, press it through a strainer, finely chop it, or blend it to break down the larger cherry pieces. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the cashew cream mixture, and whisk it together with the cooked cherry mixture. Let cool while you prepare the brownie batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8 inch square dish with parchment paper and then grease it (don't forget to also grease the sides).
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Finely chop the chocolate and add it to another mixing bowl. Pour the hot coffee over it and mix it together until the chocolate is melted. Add the coconut sugar and continue to mix until the sugar is evenly incorporated. Add the the vegetable oil and aquafaba, and continue mixing until the mixture is very smooth.
Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture in two batches. Stir just until the pockets of flour are gone; avoid over-mixing, which would develop the gluten from the flour too much and make the brownies tough. The batter will be fairly thick.
Add the batter to the prepared pan and smooth it out into an even layer. Now, grab the cashew cream and cherry mixtures from before. Add alternating dollops of the two mixtures onto the top of the brownie batter; make sure to leave a small area of brownie batter exposed around the edges (this will help us bake them properly). Then take a toothpick and drag it around on the surface to swirl the two mixtures together.
Bake uncovered for approximately 13-15 minutes. Look at the exposed brownie parts that aren't covered by cherry cheesecake swirl - you want to see that those are firm and just slightly crisp on top and remove them from the oven right away once that happens.
(Sorry, this part sucks). Let the brownies cool to room temperature before taking them out of the pan or slicing them. This way the chocolate and cashew cream can both solidify a little bit and make it easy to slice the brownies into neat little squares that won't crumble apart. These vegan berry cheesecake brownies are even better once cooled in the refrigerator, and leftovers freeze well too.
CASHEW CREAM OPTION: If you don't have or want to make the cultured cream cheese, use this instead. (This is going to make about double the amount that you need, but if you halve this it will be difficult to blend it smooth. The extra cashew cream freezes well). Soak 1 cup of raw cashews overnight. Drain them and add them to a blender with 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt (sweetened is OK), the juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (sweetened is OK), and 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Reserve half of the mixture for another time. Then proceed to step 2.
Vegan Berry Cheesecake Brownies originally printed from https://yupitsvegan.com/vegan-berry-cheesecake-brownies/ June 4, 2017