For Valentines Day I decided, instead of wasting money on gimmicky gifts I would organize a baking session for Priya and I. I had recently heard of goat’s cheese brownies and had to give them a go. As Priya was busy all morning it gave me the opportunity to go to Whole Foods and get all the ingredients. As I don’t bake very often I found a few recipes on the internet that caught my eye, one was a cream cheese brownie and the other a goats cheese brownie, I then took the best of both recipes to create this one. The ingredients I bought from the supermarket were: Flour, two blocks of good chocolate (I got one bittersweet and one milk, if it were up to me they would all be bittersweet, however Priya doesn’t like dark chocolate), baking powder, sugar (I bought raw, but confectioner’s or normal both work too), good cocoa powder, vanilla extract, French Chevre (goat’s cheese), eggs and butter. Utensils wise I would recommend using an 8×8 baking dish, having a couple of good sized bowls and a spatula an electric mixer would be useful too, however we used a whisk. When Priya finally arrived we got down to the fun stuff. Priya took over the preparation of the Chevre mixture as I began on the brownies. Priya mixed eight ounces of Chevre with one egg and a tablespoon of sugar, more sugar can be added, but the Chevre flavour will decrease. At this point we began preheating the oven to 350 F.
I began by melting down half the block of bittersweet chocolate and half the block of milk chocolate with a stick of butter over a pot of slowly simmering water. You can do this in the microwave, however chocolate is a temperamental beast and can easily be over heated. If using my method don’t let the bowl touch the water, but have it hovering above.
When the chocolate and butter is combined, or almost combined take it off the heat and leave to cool. I then went about preparing the brownie mixture, beginning with creaming two eggs together with one and a third cups of sugar.
I then added half a cup of cocoa powder and the melted chocolate mixture and combined it. I then added half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a few grinds of salt, three quarters of a cup of all purpose flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. Looking at the mixture I decided it needed a touch of water and another egg, however if cooking these again I would not add the extra egg and leave it as two as I like a brownie to be fudgy and these turned out a little more cakey.
I then prepared the baking dish, lining the bottom with aluminum foil and then greasing it thoroughly. Leave two flaps of aluminum foil hanging over two edges as this makes the brownies much easier to remove once they are cooked, I saw this somewhere…
I then added three quarters of the brownie mixture into the dish and smoothed with a spatula. On to the brownie mixture I added all the Chevre mixture and leveled that into another layer. Finally adding the remaining brownie mixture over the top. To get a nice swirled affect with the Chevre and brownie mixtures we swirled a knife through the mixture a few times.The finishing touch was to push chunks of chocolate into the mixture to melt through whilst cooking.
The brownie mixture was then put into the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, depending on your oven and the mixture consistency, ours took about 35 minutes. Pierce the cooked mixture with a knife and if it comes out reasonably clean it’s done. Don’t poke the knife through the melted chocolate though. Leave to cool.
While we were waiting for the brownies to cool Priya made a raspberry coulis. Coulis are very simple, the method was to add sugar, raspberries, a dash of balsamic vinegar and a touch of water to a pot and simmer over low heat until broken down. Don’t forget to taste as you go and adjust for the sugar and balsamic levels. We then refrigerated the mixture. Once everything had cooled we removed and cut the brownies and enjoyed our lovely creations.