My Cake Decorating Gallery

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brownie Berry Tart

I saw a neat idea for making a brownie fruit pizza (instead of the classic sugar cookie crust) and decided to give it a try for a Memorial Day BBQ with the family. Well, we just moved and I quickly realized that all the recipes for the brownie pizza crust required a quite large pizza pan - somewhere around 15" or so. I have a large circle cake pan, maybe 16" somewhere - but I don't know where. For all I know, it is still in storage. So.... I had all the ingredients but needed a plan B.

What pan I did find was a tart pan with the fluted edges and the bottom that pops out. I love this tart pan, it is nonstick and the tarts always look nice and pop out easy. The bottom circle stays with the tart but it fits on one of my white plates well and a damp paper towel folded up hidden underneath provides  enough grip to keep the slippery tart pan from sliding off the plate.

So, originally I was picturing a big flat brownie pizza but I quite like how the taller/thicker brownie tart turned out. I used a ghirardelli brownie box - a basic chocolate fudge. I followed the directions on the box and packed the brownie batter into the tart pan and baked for around 35 minutes at the temperature noted on the box.

I made the brownie bottom the night before and then the day of the party, I set out the cream cheese in the morning so that it had time to soften. I also washed the raspberries and took the time to tip them stem-size down on a paper towel so that they had time to dry, with another paper towel on top. I washed the other berries in a similar fashion well in advance so that the berries wouldn't be dripping onto the tart and would be pretty dry by the time I used them.

I mixed up the cream cheese with the other ingredients and spread it on top of the tart pan and then just leave it to your creative eye to arrange the fruit in a pleasing manner - there are lots of options! I put some apricot jam in the microwave for around 30 minutes and then used a pastry brush to put a gloss on top of the tart. It wasn't really anything you tasted in the final product but the glossy sheen was attractive. This was a delicious tart and I would definitely make it again - I'm thinking I would like it better than the original intent, you get more brownie at once with the tart than the pizza idea! Yummy!

Brownie Tart Topped with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Berries

1 brownie mix box or your favorite 8x8 or 9x9 brownie recipe

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
~1/4cup powdered sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract

blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or any other fruit topping you'd like

1/4 cup apricot or apple jelly

Make the brownie mix as noted on the box and spread into the tart pan, bake for around 35 minutes or until just done - but not too long, because chewy brownies are the best! The brownie tart bottom can be made in advance and left out.

When you're ready to decorate the tart, mix up the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Adjust vanilla and sugar amounts so that it is sweet enough to your taste. Spread over the top of the tart, leaving an edge uncovered, if you like that look.

Spread washed (and dried - I washed my berries and let them dry a few hours earlier) berries and other fruits in a neat (or sloppy) design on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Pop the jelly in a microwave safe dish and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, until it is more liquidy. Use a pastry brush to paint the jelly on top of the fruit until everything is glossed up.

This can set out a few hours but if it's going to be several hours before you eat it, it is better if you pop it in the fridge to keep the cream cheese safe.



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