Goat Cheese Brownies
Oh goat cheese, not only do you shine in appetizers and entrées, now you've stepped into the sometimes discriminating world of desserts...way to shatter that glass ceiling (you too, bacon).
When I found this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens, I had to make it, immediately. I love recipes that call for an ingredient that's way out of left field (or is it "from" left field? I'm terrible with sports adages). Black pepper, chili powder, butternut squash etc...the line between savory and sweet is only as thick as we want it to be.
If someone can figure out how to make Brussels sprouts edible (and by edible, I mean that they won't taste anything like what they are), please let me know!
If you love the softy-assertive, twangy flavour of goat cheese, I think you will adore these brownies. In fact, they may replace your go-to cream cheese swirl brownie recipe. The brownies themselves are a little bit on the 'cakey' side, but the creamy texture marries so perfectly with the chocolate, that any lack of fudginess is quickly forgiven.
My favourite part of this recipe is, of course, the frosting. It's even better than cream cheese frosting (which is saying a lot). I'm already thinking about using this goat cheese frosting on a carrot or hummingbird cake.
Just a quick note, If you're leery about using goat cheese in a brownie recipe, you can replace it with the same amount of cream cheese. I made both versions, and even though the cream cheese brownies paled in comparison, they were still delicious. Just be sure to use the actual goat cheese in the frosting. You do not want to miss out on that experience!
Goat Cheese Brownies (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
6 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, butter the foil and set the pan aside.
Prepare the brownie layer: Fill a saucepan with about 1-inch of water and bring to just a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan (be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. As soon as it's smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool as you prepare the cheese layer.
Cheese layer:In a medium-size bowl, beat the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium speed for about 1 minute (just to combine). Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of flour, honey, and 1 egg. Beat well (about 2-4 minutes). Set the bowl aside.
Back to the brownie layer: Beat the 2 eggs on medium speed till foamy. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat till combined. Using a large spatula, stir in 1 cup of flour, baking Powder, salt, and nuts (if using).
Spread half of the chocolate batter into prepared pan. [Note: I added the entire thing by accident and it still turned out okay.]
Spread the cheese filling over the chocolate batter.
Using large spoon-filled dollops, drop the remaining chocolate batter over the cheese filling.
Drag a thin metal spatula through both the cheese and chocolate mixtures. Try not to overdo it, a few swirls here and there will go a long way.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set.
Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
4 oz of goat cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup (that's 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioners' sugar (have at least one more cup on hand, just in case the frosting is too thin)
2 Tablespoons of honey
1 Tablespoon of milk
In a large bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and butter together on medium-low speed till creamy. It may look chunky at first, but it'll smooth out once everything is combined.
Add the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition. [If you add it all at once, the sugar will go everywhere.]
Once 2 cups of sugar have been incorporated, add the honey and milk. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
If the frosting is too thin, add more sugar in 1/4 cup increments until it reaches the correct consistency. If you prefer a thick frosting, add more sugar.
Spread over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.
Makes about 32 brownies