Sunday, August 15, 2010

dn’s Sinsational Chocolate Pizza

I had been looking for a brownie fruit pizza recipe for awhile, but just couldn’t find one that I thought would suit my chocoholic needs. So, I decided to create my own.

My criteria? I wanted a brownie crust from scratch – not a mix. I wanted the cream cheese filling to be chocolate flavoured not just sweetened with a bit of sugar and citrus peel as most recipes were. I knew I could use a wide variety of fresh fruits so there was no problem there. My brownie recipe had almonds in it but I also wanted more almonds on top – roasted almonds to bring out a real nutty flavour. Most recipes I saw, had either a glaze or semisweet chocolate drizzled over the top. Not mine! I wanted bittersweet chocolate!

Now, if I could create that kind of a dessert pizza, I would be a very happy chocoholic!!

If you think about it, this is actually a well balanced dessert.
• A variety of fresh fruits = fruit/vegetables
• Almonds in base and on top = meat/alternatives
• Cream cheese filling = dairy
• Brownie base = grains

Okay, maybe I’m stretching the truth a little bit but once you read my recipe – or better yet make it and taste it - I’m sure you will agree that I have come up with a pretty unique version that is truly sinful!

dn’s Sinsational Chocolate Pizza

Brownie base
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Filling
1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Topping
2 - 2 1/2 cups freshly cut up fruit such as strawberries, cherries, mango, kiwi, grapes, etc.
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Directions:

Line a 12” pizza pan with foil, then spray with Pam. Preheat oven to 375°.

Prepare brownie batter as follows: Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and almonds and set aside. Combine the margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Mix into dry ingredients and stir thoroughly. Spread onto prepared pizza pan. Bake at 375° for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

While the base is baking and cooling, prepare the fruit and set the cut fruit in a strainer to remove any excess liquid.

Before turning the oven off, place the almonds in a shallow pan in the oven to toast for about 5 minutes – stirring once or twice. Allow to cool completely while preparing the rest of the dessert.

While the base is cooling, beat cream cheese, cocoa powder and sugar with an electric mixer, until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly over brownie crust to within about 1/2 inch of the edge.

Spread fruit mixture over cream cheese layer; sprinkle with cooled toasted almonds.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour to allow chocolate to set then cover until serving. Serves 12-14. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes:
- A store bought brownie mix could be used for the base, but I prefer one from scratch as there is less salt and sugar.
- You could also add some WELL drained pineapple chunks to the fruit mix but I wouldn’t recommend bananas, apples or other fruits that can go soggy or turn brown quickly.
- The cream cheese filling could be flavoured in different ways such as adding 2 teaspoons of fresh grated lemon or orange peel with or without the cocoa powder.
- Substitute pecans or walnuts for the almonds if preferred.

Enjoy!

dn

1 comment:

Allison said...

Sounds sinfully delicious, save a slice for me!