Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Slice and Memories {Recipe}

I have a customer whose prescriptions smell like my Nana's handbag. Whenever she drops off her scripts I secretly inhale them and I am transported back to the Wednesday afternoons of my childhood. My grandparents would collect me from school and my Nana's handbag would produce sweeties and a small bag of crisps for my afternoon tea. We would watch cartoons while we ate, jump on the trampoline for a while and then as the sun set I would sit on my Nana's lap and tell her about my day. Life was pretty good.

Hang on, I've just admitted to the internet that I sniff somebody's scripts. Hmmm, maybe I am a bit comfy comfy with this tell-all business I have got myself into. For the record, the smell, as best as I can work out, is Max Factor pressed powder, hairspray and a hint of napthalene. The smell of Nana.

Every Saturday we would go to my grandparents house for lunch then afterwards Poppa would entertain us for a couple of hours while mum went shopping. Or at least, that is what I thought happened. One day for whatever reason we returned early and I caught my nana and my mum having afternoon tea together! Without me! The nerve!

marbled chocolate cheesecake slice recipe

I lined up for my piece of slice and was told there was no more.*
marbled chocolate cheesecake slice tetley tea afternoon

This slice, my friends, is the smell of secret afternoon tea and I'm not sure there are many things in the world nicer than that.

A few years later I spent an afternoon copying down my favourites from her concertina file of hand-written recipes. This is a photocopy of the one I wrote out in my 9-years-old handwriting. My mum still has the original, and, I think, my nana's original.

marbled chocolate cheesecake slice handwritten recipe

You will need:
185g butter (I use reduced salt)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour, sifted

250g cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Now the women in my family have a talent for the microwave so if ever something could be cooked in the microwave, it was (even things that should not have been cooked in the microwave were, with some fairly hideous, grey, mushy textured results). However le microwave works well here to melt the butter and then you can add all the other ingredients to the same bowl.  You will however need to preheat the oven to 180C to bake the slice. Although I'm sure my mum has had a stab at cooking the whole thing in the microwave...

Melt the butter until only just melted and add the cocoa, whisking to combine.
Whisk in sugar, then eggs, then flour until smooth.
Pour into a lined baking tray (original recipe specifies 16 x 26cm- I used 20 x 20cm)

To save washing up, give the bowl a rinse then beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; then add the egg and beat until smooth.

Pour over the chocolate base and swirl with a knife

Bake for 40 minutes or until set and very lightly brown

Allow to cool before cutting
marbled chocolate cheesecake slice warm chocolate cheesecake brownie
Or be impatient and cut immediately.

This is actually better to make the day before you need it. The flavours meld and develop and it becomes a gorgeous fudge consistency. If the recipe was created now and not in the mid 80s it would probably be called something like a cheesecake brownie, with its rich, creamy topping and slightly gooey rich chocolate cake base.
chocolate cheesecake brownie recipe afternoon tea

*This was in the early days of Weight Watchers where portion control came from doing your own baking and freezing it in single serve portions. There was more (in the freezer) but I didn't learn the secret until years later.

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  1. my this looks delicious - I have never cooked a dessert in the microwave but I love the idea! smells illicit the strongest memories, my nans always use to wear danca-rub so when ever I smell that I think of her. She made the most amazing sponge cake - I have never had a sponge cake as good as hers. I have been too scared to try her recipe but after your post I am thinking maybe I should give it a go. Great post.

  2. Yep. Yum. I am not much of a baker (I always peek in the oven every 2 minutes so i let all the heat out..) This would be perfect - can't open the microwave to peek!

  3. Ooops blogger fail! You probably could cook this whole thing in the microwave but I haven't tried and I really think the oven would be better. I was referring to melting the butter and cocoa in the microwave in a big bowl and then just mixing the other ingredients for the base in with that. Editing the post now :)

  4. Lovely!

    I still have some of my nanna's recipes, every woman in my family is obsessed with cookbooks and recipes, we're renown for it!

  5. If your mamma managed this in the microwave, she's a hero.
    It looks divine and anything with a gorgeous little story behind it always tastes better, thanks for sharing.
    We'll just ignore the prescription sniffing...
    M x Life Outside London

    1. Appreciate that :)
      Not sure my mum's microwave cookery should be encouraged though...

  6. Oh wow!! You had me convinced when I say the handwritten recipe - they are always the best! This sounds absolutely divine. If chocolate wasn't good enough on it's own, it's made 100 times better with cheesecake!! Can't wait to try this one out. Thank you for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party! Have a great weekend! xx


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