The promised recipe – memories of getting Alan for my birthday.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie.

Brownie

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

200g unsalted butter

250g icing sugar

3 eggs

110g plain flour

Cheesecake

400g cream cheese

150g icing sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Cream Topping

300ml whipping cream

100g icing sugar

150g raspberries

Plus extra to decorate

A 33 x 23 x 5cam baking tray

Greased and lined.

Heat oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

Makes 12 portions

For the brownie.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water).  Leave until melted and smooth.  Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.  Gradually beat in the flour, mixing well after each addition, then turn mixer up to high speed and beat for a little longer until you get a smooth mixture.  Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.  Pour into the prepared baking tray and smooth over with a palette knife.

For the cheesecake.

Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until smooth and thick.  Add one egg at a time, while still mixing.   Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.  The mixture should be very smooth and creamy.  The mixer can be turned up to a higher speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier, but be careful not to over mix, otherwise the cheese will split.  Spoon on top of the brownie and smooth over with a palette knife.  Bake in the preheated over for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges.  The centre should still be pale.  Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

For the cream topping.

Put the cream, sugar and raspberries in the electric mixer bowl with a whisk attachment and beat until firm but not stiff.  Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the right way up.  Spread the topping evenly over the brownie and decorate with more raspberries.

Hope you like it….

This recipe talks a lot about needing to use an electric food mixer which made me smile as to how I came to own mine……

A few years ago I loved Alan Titchmarsh! Along with many other women in Britain.  I watched Gardeners World and Ground Force.

I remember asking Matthew if I could go to help on his stand at Chelsea Flower Show originally just to set eyes on the famous Alan!

You could buy Alan Titchmarsh mugs, books just about everything with his name on it.  Mark came home one day saying his department at work had bought a leaving colleague an Alan Titchmarsh concrete garden Gnome figure.  I remember laughing and saying something like ‘I’d like one of those.’  Be careful what you wish for….

What I really wanted was a ‘Kitchen Aid’ food mixer.  Now I know that many women would wrap such a present around their other halves neck, but not me.  It’s the Rolls Royce of food mixers, all the top chefs use them.  I had dropped what I thought were enough hints throughout the year.

My birthday came, the kids gathered on my bed to watch me open my presents and cards.  Mark disappeared then entered the bedroom with a large box wrapped in birthday paper! He had bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer, how exciting!  He dropped the box on the bed and it was really heavy, I knew it was a mixer, they are really heavy.  I unwrapped the paper with eager anticipation.  Once the paper was off and I opened the box I tried not to look too shocked or disappointed.

‘Do you like it?’  was a question I heard and the children stuck their heads into the box to see what I could see.  It was Alan Titchmarsh.  Cheeky little chappie smiling smugly at me.  ‘Yes, it’s great I said, thank you.’

‘Is it what you wanted?’ came the second question…’no’ I answered a bit too honestly. ‘I wanted a Kitchen Aid food mixer’.

Anyway I put Alan in the garden and he was useless, never lifted a finger to help.  I would look at him whilst weeding and tell him about the food mixer I didn’t get.

Like all birthdays these days, the next one whizzed around and I found myself sat on my bed again with children awaiting my present… In he staggered again with another huge heavy box, I was ready for him this time, ‘if this is Charlie Dimmock or Tommy Walsh, you’re dead!’

He laughed nervously as I opened this box, knowing what kind of a sense of humour he had.  But to my delight it was a Kitchen Aid mixer!  Phew…

I have never clapped eyes on Alan Titchmarsh at any of the shows.  I don’t think I could without thinking of my cheeky chappie in my garden.

But my cakes are lovely and light and I love my food mixer more than Alan Titchmarsh.

2 Comments

  1. Gisela Bell
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh So funny LOL. I am sorry you have never got to see Alan. I did LOL, but your better off with the mixer. xxx

  2. Sue
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    That really did make me LOL !!!!
    I will never again be able to set eyes on Alan Titchmarsh without thinking about you Anne. Typical that he hasnt done a damn thing in your garden for you…. not even when your back is turned !!! and he calls himself a gardener !! xx