Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge Brownies

These Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge Brownies are rich and decadent. I first experienced the combination of blackberry and espresso in a latte and was dreaming about how spectacular the flavors would be in brownie form. Adding cheesecake and chocolate to the palate really takes this treat up to gourmet dessert status.

Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge Brownies

These brownies are so moist and fudgey they taste almost as if they were half-baked. Pair them with cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream and, boy, will your taste buds be happy! Any berry would be great in this recipe, but I find the blackberries to be so unique! You’ll also notice a dash of espresso, which really enhances the chocolate flavors overall.

Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge Brownie Recipe


  • For Blackberry Sauce:
    • 6 oz. fresh blackberries
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp water
  • For Cheesecake:
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp flour
    • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • For Brownies:
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
    • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup flour


Blackberry Sauce:

  1. Heat blackberries and sugar in a pan over medium low heat until the blackberries release their juices.
  2. Combine cornstarch, lemon juice and water together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add cornstarch mixture to pan and stir together. Bring mixture to simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Scrape chocolate mixture into a bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Stir sugar, vanilla and salt into the cooled chocolate mixture.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time beating until each is just mixed.
  5. Sprinkle flour over the chocolate mixture and stir until blended.


  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add blackberry mixture and combine.
The finishing touches:
  1. Spread 2/3 of the mixture into pan. Dollop blackberry cheesecake mixture over. Then dollop remaining brownie mixture over.
  2. Using a knife, make a swirl pattern with the batter (run knife up and down the pan).
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is cooked. Test by inserting a knife into the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, the brownies are done.
  4. Allow to cool and serve.
(Recipes modified from Beantown Baker and Kids Baking.) 

Blackberry Cheesecake Fudge BrowniesTo simplify the recipe you could use store-bought brownie mix, although these fudge brownies are to die for! I hope you enjoy these amazing brownies. Let me know what you think!

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Arizona Blogger Conference

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Last Saturday I attended the Arizona Blogger Conference put on by the Phoenix Style Collective. The Saguaro hotel where it was held had a modern southwest vibe. The miniature orange cactus, golden glittered tables and Dia de Los Muertos masks were a few details that I loved.

The Saguaro Scottsdale

At the conference I learned lots of great tips about blogging, how to use lighting in photography and connected with other fabulous bloggers in Arizona!

Perry Czopp of The Coffee Chop even shared some of his knowledge about espresso. He caters events and will make personalized espresso drinks. What a unique idea for the next wedding, party or birthday celebration!

The Coffee Chop

I sampled a Blackberry Latte and oh my goodness….I never would have imagined those two flavors together, but it was incredible! The sweetness of the blackberry balanced the bitterness of the espresso perfectly. If was as if I were sipping dessert!

The Blackberry Latte sparked my imagination about creating Blackberry Espresso Brownies. I want to mimic the experience of the latte in a rich chocolate form. Over the next few days I will test some recipes and report back with my favorite ASAP!

Until then, have a fun, festive and delicious Cinco de Mayo!

Love food. Love self. Love life.


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Show Mom how much you appreciate her…and her cooking…with one of these Mother’s Day gifts. Every time she uses the measuring spoons or takes a sip of wine, she will think of you!

Mom can journal about her new favorite recipes or tuck an old one into the specially added pockets of this recipe journal from Anthropologie.

Recipe Taste Test Journal from Anthropologie

This wine glass from Fred will allow Mom to savor the “leftover” vino while cooking…or measure out an extra 1/2 cup for herself!

Sauced Measuring Wine Glass

This tasselled oven mit from ModCloth is cheerful for spring. It’s so cute it may even inspire Mom to make a batch of baked goods for you!

Flour Arrangement Oven MittMom will be getting lots of compliments about these hip, ombre wooden spoons from Etsy. (Just don’t fib that you crafted them yourself!)

Ombre Wooden Spoons in Pink and Purple

This “Hold Me Mug” from Uncommon Goods is shaped for the contours of hands. Perfect for Mom to relax with a cup of tea.

Hold-Me Mugs

We know Mom always adds lots of love into her cooking, but with these measuring spoons from Francesca’s Collections she can also add a dash of faith, hope and joy!

Spoonful of Crosses Measuring Spoons

What are your family traditions for celebrating Mother’s Day? If you’re treating mom to breakfast in bed, I think she may like these Crème Brûlée French Toasts from Smitten Kitchen!

Love food. Love self. Love life.


Acai Bowl

Last weekend while I was visiting San Diego I devoured an Acai Bowl for the first time. It’s a smoothie-parfait-like treat topped with berries, granola and honey. My friends claimed the Pirates Cove Tiki Port near Ocean Beach has the best Acai Bowl they’ve ever had. Now I’m on a mission to duplicate it at home!

Acai Bowl with Granola, Fresh Berries, Banana and Honey

Acai Bowl at Pirates Cove Tiki Port in San Diego.

After researching I found that acai is popular in Brazil. This superfood is typically grown in the Amazon, but can be found frozen at a specialty grocery store like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Acai is full of antioxidants and is a natural source of energy!

Acai Bowl Recipe


  • 1-2 frozen acai packets
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • Fresh banana slices, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey
  • Optional: Hemp seeds (these have lots of omega-3!) or toasted coconut


Run the acai packet under hot water or let sit out for a few minutes to slightly defrost! Blend together acai, frozen banana, frozen berries and apple juice until smooth. Pour into bowl. Top with granola, fresh fruit, honey and any other desired toppings.

San Diego Beach

Above are my friends Bridie and Julia, below is my cousin Stephanie, and we’re pictured at Mission and Ocean Beach. Bring a bit of the beach to your kitchen this summer and make an Acai Bowl for breakfast!

The Green Smoothie Challenge

Well hello Gourmet Gab readers! I apologize that it has been a month since I’ve posted. With the school year wrapping up there has been a lot on my plate! I joined the sorority, Sigma Kappa, that was recolonized at ASU this spring so we have had lots of exciting events! Below is a picture of our chapter (I’m on the far right, bottom row).

Sigma Kappa at Arizona State University

Lately I have been producing videos for the Downtown Devil. It’s been a challenging, but great opportunity to work on my videography skills! You can watch more of my videos on my Vimeo channel. Hopefully you have also been visiting the food blog I write for Downtown Devil called HERBan Explorer!

Last week on the blog I posted about the Green Smoothie Challenge. I have been so obsessed with this magical green smoothie concoction and with finding my favorite combination of flavors. Visit the link above to read all about the nutritional benefits from the leafy greens added in!

Green Smoothies

I cannot wait for summer to officially begin on May 2nd! While I am home this summer I am hoping to dive into some new recipes and share them with you. Hope everyone is having a lovely and delicious spring.

Fun Spring Finds

Happy Spring! The weather is perfect for an outdoor lunch gathering. My next post is going to be about a yummy salmon dish…stay tuned! Until then, I wanted to share a few fun kitchen finds from boutiques in Phoenix.

These placemats are adorable and make clean up so simple. You’ll never forget where the forks and knives are supposed to go! You can find them on the Cake Vintage website.

I love these bedazzled stickers to distinguish who’s glass is who’s. They are like jewelry for glasses! Order them on Amazon (round & design).

You won’t lack any friends if you are cooking dishes from Gourmet Gab :) Just kidding! But really, it’s amazing how food gathers people together. This cute jar grip will remind you of that every time you use it. Find it here.

These glass water bottles from Faucet Face encourage people to drink tap water and say goodbye to plastic bottles! Every bottle you buy will in turn provide 100 liters of clean water in rural India. Read more about the project on the website!

Hope these fun finds jump-start your spring celebration!

Date Night Blog Collaboration with DearSerendipity

Gourmet Gab and Dear Serendipity

My friend from high school, Emily Piskulick, writes a darling fashion blog called DearSerendipity. We collaborated our two passions–food and fashion–to create two date night ideas. One is more casual with a classic jean look and chicken dish. The other is a bit fancy with a pretty dress and gourmet pasta.

Casual Date Night IdeasFor a casual date night, this dinner is easy to prepare and delicious to enjoy. The lemon pepper chicken from Life’s Ambrosia is flavored by a zesty marinade. The spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette is full of colorful veggies. A side of Uncle Ben’s wild rice, or any flavor that you like, will be a nice balance and will only take a few minutes to cook. Store-bought or homemade angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream is a light, no-bake dessert.

Fancy Date NightThis pesto and shrimp pasta tastes as gourmet as it looks. Plus, the leftovers double in flavor the next day. Any roasted vegetable would pair beautifully with the pasta. I chose asparagus, but squash, tomatoes or yellow zucchini also be complementary. The side of bread is an extra touch, but not essential. A giant pizookie (pizza-cookie), like this one from Serious Eats, is fun to share with a date.

Emily has all the details about the outfits on her DearSerendipity post! Check it out and share the link with your friends. You could even pass the link on to your significant other as a hint for a date night ;)