Intro: Strawberry Cheesecake Squares (gluten Free)
It's the time of year where you still see nice fresh strawberries around but they're not cheap anymore. I wanted to make my chocolate strawberry cake but I didn't want to spend three times as much on berries as I had in the summer. I have plenty of frozen berries from this season so I tried to make good use of them. I knew I couldn't make the exact same cake as before, but you will notice some similarities.
The ingredients you will need for the chocolate base are :
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tsp warm water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
The ingredients you will need for the strawberry layer are :
- 3 cups frozen berries
- 3 tsp agar powder
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 8oz block of cream cheese
Step 1: Baking the Brownie Base
This base is pretty much exactly the same as the chocolate strawberry cake, I just halved the ingredients because I didn't need it to be as big. You've seen me do this before so this is a quick recap of the brownie layer. Lay a strip of parchment paper at the bottom of a small rectangular baking dish and spray the entire thing with baking spray, this will help for removal. Mix the sugars, egg, oil and coffee mixture in a bowl well. Add in the cocoa and salt, mix well again. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the brownie batter into your grease and lined pan and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Once baked, let cool while you complete the strawberry cheesecake topping.
Step 2: Cooking the Strawberries
Cook your berries on a medium-low heat in a sauce pan. Be sure to stir the berries well as they begin to defrost. Cook the strawberries until they are starting to break down and bubble for a few minutes. The berries will loose a lot of moisture and it will look very soupy. Don't worry about this, it will be thickened up later on. Add in the white sugar and let dissolve. More or less sugar can be added to taste. Just remember that the brownie bottom is already going to be rich and sweet, don't over do it with a really sweet strawberry layer as well.
Dump the cooked strawberries in a food processor or blender while still hot. Blend up well and lowly add in the agar powder. Blend this well for about 2 minutes. Next, add in the sour cream and cream cheese. Blend this up very well, I did it for about three minutes. Once you are satisfied with how smooth the mixture is it can now be poured onto your brownie base. I put the strawberry topping on top of the brownie while it was still a bit warm, this didn't hurt it at all. Pour on the topping and set in the fridge for about three hours to chill well. Once chilled it can be sliced up and served. I melted a few extra chocolate chips do drizzle on top since it had a bland pepto bismol appearance and that spruced it up a lot. Serve and enjoy :)