National Blogger Bake Sale & Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls Version 2.0

by Kelly on April 17, 2010

GreatAmericanBakeSale
Today I joined up with with some lovely ladies behind other Chicago food blogs such as Bridezilla Bakes, In Good Taste, and Interior Bakerator as well as some local businesses to put on Chicago’s edition of the National Food Blogger Bake Sale to benefit Share our Strength, which is dedicated to fighting child hunger.  Obviously as you can tell from the spread there were quite a few people involved so I apologize to all the wonderful bakers for my failing to give shoutouts to everyone.  It was my first food blogger get together since relocating so I was thrilled to meet up with other foodies while supporting a great cause.

Our bake sale was held in an adorable place called Smash Cake, which is due to reopen next month.  They were generous enough to let us use the entire place free of charge.  In addition to selling coffee and baked goods it will also specialize in children’s parties so the place was decked out with toys and pint-sized aprons.  Overall the event was a tremendous success, so much so that we were often running out of bills smaller than a $20.  Having helped organize bake sales in the past I know what a challenge it can be so I have to give Maris of In Good Taste so much credit for pulling it off without a hitch.  The space was constantly buzzing with people and besides raising a good amount of money it was also a wonderful way to raise awareness of such a great organization with an amazing mission.  When I found out I was going to be participating in the bake sale I did some research into Share our Strength since to be honest, I knew little about it beyond the coverage I saw on the Food Network.  One of the program in particular called Operation Frontline caught my attention in particular because it’s all about nutrition based education that teaches families how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget.  I love the proactivity of that idea and am hoping that perhaps I might be able to get involved as a volunteer in the future.  Anyway, I digress.

Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls

For my contribution I decided to make an updated version of my Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls which I first blogged about here.  I first made them after being inspired by some awesome Dark Chocolate Chevre brownies from The Vermont Brownie Company that I tried at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival.  After my post was published the lovely ladies from The Vermont Brownie Company appeared on a Brownie Throwdown with Bobby Flay and readers passed along some of the tips they shared on the show so I could make my brownies more like the real thing.  It’s been months since I had the original version so I cannot say for sure how this one compares, but I can say I enjoy it just as much, if not more than my previous version.  My main changes were to start with a fudgier brownie base and to up the amount of Chevre for an even more distinct goat cheese flavor.  Being a perfectionist I am sure I will still continue to tinker with this, but I think this is quickly becoming my signature recipe.  Whether you try this version or my original (which I think is a better match if you like a lighter, cakier brownie) I think you won’t be disapointed.  (I’ve also since made a third version that I consider my Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls Version 2.1 because they are very similar to the recipe below, but use a mix of powdered and brown sugar, making them a little closer to the original.)

Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls Version 2.0
Yields 16 brownies
Note: For an even creamier, richer brownie, double the amount of the swirl mixture. I’ve tried it this way and it sounds like many readers have as well and it is absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

Chevre Swirl
-6 ounces chevre, room temperature
-1 tablespoon powdered sugar
-1 large egg
-1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Brownie Base
-2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-3 large eggs
-1/2 cup canola oil
-2 tablespoons water
-1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8″ square nonstick baking pan.

Make swirl by beating together the first four ingredients until smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Make the brownie base by whisking together the cocoa, sugars, salt, flour, and chips in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil, and water and chocolate extract. mixing just until smooth.

Spoon half the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread the swirl mixture over it and then spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top.

Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes to 45 minutes (for the 8″ pan). To see if the brownies are done, remove the pan from the oven, and stick the tip of a sharp knife into the center of the brownies. Brownies will be done when the center is set but the consistency is still moist and fudgey.

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{ 6 trackbacks }

Fromage Friday: Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls
May 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirl Version 2.1
June 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm
Deep Chocolate-Chevre Brownies « Savoring Goat Cheese
February 27, 2011 at 8:12 am
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May 13, 2011 at 6:37 am
Goat Cheese Brownies Using a Boxed Mix
December 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm
The Return of the Food Blogger Bake Sale and Chewy Toasted Coconut and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
April 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany April 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

Man, now I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to try these yesterday! They look awesome… incredibly rich. It was fun hanging out behind the cash box with you — let’s get together soon!

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Cara April 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I’ve been thinking of making a brownie much like that, actually! I love chocolate and I love goat cheese… there is actually a dairy nearby here that makes chocolate goat cheese and I thought that would be perfect!

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Allie April 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I had one of the last ones at the bake sale – absolutely fabulous! I’m definitely going to try these for myself (my fiance was sad I didn’t bring him one when I told him about it).

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Maris April 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

These MIGHT have been my favorite thing there! I love chevre, I love brownies…such a great combination!

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5 Star Foodie April 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Wow, those brownies with chevre swirls look terrific, I would love to try them!

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Reeni April 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

It sounds like the bake sale was a big success! I love the brownies! I bet their beyond delicious with the chevre.

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Shannon April 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

glad you were able to meet some of your “new” fellow bloggers! thanks for reminding me to make these :)

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RebeccaC April 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Hi! It was wonderful meeting you this past weekend. Your brownies have been on my mind ever since so I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try soon. Meanwhile…I love your blog and will definitely add it to my reader. Lets stay in touch!

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Sophie @ yumventures April 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

you had me at cheese and chocolate. YUM! Amazing brownies, I’ll have to try them sometime oh so soon!

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Elina April 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Wow those cookies on the top left look so cool! How would you make them so perfect? Is it like a fancy stamp? Just wondering… I know you didn’t make them but maybe you know :)
So I saw your review back in the day and your recipe, and I wanted to make them. Then I saw the throwdown and wanted to order the original. I haven’t done either one and it’s time to change it. It’s going on the top of the pile. Expect to see it in a few weeks (this week’s baking is already planned). :D Glad you’re meeting new foodie friends in Chicago, btw!

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Teresa April 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Your brownies left my mouth watering. So Good! Congratulations on participating for such a worthy cause.

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Sues April 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Yay, I’m so glad you’re joining in the Chi food blogging community! My good friend Jessi (www.tokissthecook.com) was there too :) Also, your brownies look absolutely amazing!!

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Kelly April 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Sues – So funny. What a small world!

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CaSaundra April 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

What a great cause to get together for! I bet people went crazy over your goodies!

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To Kiss the Cook April 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Wow- so much we didn’t cover at the bake sale! Thanks to Sues above for connecting the dots but I too have some deep roots in the Boston area but I’ve lived in Chicago for 5 years. Once farmer’s market season is in full swing, I’d love to get everyone together again to tour the big ones.

Related: That goat cheese brownie was my favorite thing from the whole sale. No wonder they sold out so fast!

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Kelly April 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Isn’t it funny how small the world is? I love that about the blogging community. It seems like everyone is just an aquaintance away.

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Carolyn Jung May 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

What a great thing to do! Kudos to you for baking those treats for such a good cause.

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Shauna May 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

It seems the baking powder was left off of the second version. I’ve just tried to bake them and they’ve been in the oven for over an hour and half and they are still raw. I was really excited to try this recipe and it’s a complete bust without the baking powder. I’m sure future bakers would appreciate if you would update your recipe to include the baking powder. I hope to try your recipe(s) again.

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Kelly May 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Shauna,

I am so sorry to hear it didn’t work. I rechecked this recipe again against the one that I modeled it after (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/deep-dark-fudgy-brownies-recipe) because I distinctly remembered that it purposefully had no baking soda or powder and was surprised. I am so sorry this happened to you! I’m going to test this again because although it worked for me as written, I know I hate when recipes don’t work out. Again, I am so, so so sorry! I looked at the comments left on the original recipe to see if it offered more insight, but haven’t seen any reports of others with the same problem.

-Kelly

-Kelly

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Andrea May 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Hi, I am baking your chocolate chevre brownies using the new recipe- your recipe did not ask that I swirl the chevre once I add the top layer of chocolate mix- was I suppose to do that? Also, I noticed there was no vanilla in this one…is that correct? I cannot wait till these come out…15 more minutes:) thanks so much for the info- uh oh…I just read the comment above, and I am concerned about the baking powder…I did not use any- I will let you know how they turn out:) Also, I am in Denver, CO-do you think that I should make any changes to accomodate high altitude? Thanks!

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Kelly May 20, 2010 at 12:40 am

Hi Andrea – you can swirl it or not swirl it as you choose. I didn’t but it kind of came out that way anyhow. If you generally make changes for high altitude baking I don’t think that hurts. Unfortunately, I have always lived at lower elevations so I would hate to give you bad advice about what to do. I do know that in general the Chocolate Snowball is a fantastic book for high altitude baking. It can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Snowball-Fabulous-Pastries-Valley/dp/0762761113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274329790&sr=8-1

That said, I’m very curious so I’ve been doing a lot of research into this today and it turns out that fudgey brownies often don’t call for any leavening. (Though cakey brownies sometimes do to make them lighter – great article on this here:
http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/brownies-chewy-cakey-fudgy.aspx )

I know you’ve already made this but in the future, if people are nervous about the lack of leavening I would recommend the original. That said, I’m going to test these again just to make sure and will also use an oven thermometer to make sure there is nothing throwing this recipe off.

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Andrea May 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hi Kelly! The brownies were fantastic!!! My husband said they are the best he has ever had! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I did not need baking powder- did not need to swirl- they came out perfect! They were just like the ones in your picture…I did bake the brownies for a total of 60 minutes- they were perfectly moist, soft and chocolately! I love these because they are not too sweet and rich! Absolutely perfect! At first, when I was dipping my toothpick in the middle to see of they were done, I think the “gooeynis” was actually melted chocolate chips instead of uncooked batter:) So, just to confirm- these are the best brownies I have EVER had in my life! My husband is VERY picky, and he totally agreed! Keep up the good work!

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Andrea May 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am thinking that maybe Shauna used added too many chocolate chips or something…I also added the bitter sweet chocolate chunks on top- fantastic!!!

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Jai Ram May 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm

HI, Im excited to find this. I dont watch much T.V but last night I caught the “Throw-down” episode with these brownies. I quickly started an online search. I will be trying these later in the week. Thank you, Im excited. I did notice on the show the ladies used a mixture of both brown sugar and white granulated sugar in the brownies. I noticed Bobby did to. I noticed it because I thought it was a really good idea. Im mentioning it because it was this Vermont recipe that inspired you. Thanks again!

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Jai Ram May 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I also noticed they sprinkled sea salt on top on the brownies when they were done? Have you tried this? I dont know if I should do that.

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sark June 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I seem to remember that the Vermont Brownie bakers used vanilla extract in their chevre brownies – do you think you could sub 1tsp vanilla for the chocolate extract in your recipe? Also, I would love to know how you think you would alter the sugar in your recipe if you wanted to incorporate brown sugar as well – instead of the 1/2 cup powdered sugar could you just use 1/2 cup brown?
Thanks!

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Kelly June 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Sark & Jai Ram – Thanks for your comments. Believe it or not, I’ve actually never seen the episode. (I tried the brownies for the first time at the Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival last fall before the show aired and attempted to recreate them soon after.)

I’m really curious about the effect of the brown sugar. To be honest, I’d like to test it myself before I make a recommendation one way or the other. The reason I say this is I think with this particular recipe the powdered sugar is necessary because they are very fudgey brownies and I think potentially the fact that powdered sugar dissolves easily keeps them from being too gritty from the sugar.

However, the original version I made was less fudgey (more light and cakey) so I think there you could probably substitute the brown sugar without problem. (You can find the recipe here: http://pink-apron.com/recipes/deep-chocolate-brownies-with-chevre-swirls/)

In the meantime, I have get together coming up soon and may try these again using a base that is part brown sugar. Good question!

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sark June 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

thanks for the quick response! i hadn’t thought about that with the grit factor – perhaps the best solution would be to use 1 cup granulated, 1/2 cup brown, and 1/2 cup powdered. and i definitely agree with one of the other posters that sprinkling on some extra sea salt right when they come out of the oven would add a nice sweet/salt balance!

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Kelly June 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm

No problem. If you end up trying that combo let me know how it works out. I think I’m going to try a version with brown sugar this weekend and if I do, will update the blog with the results. :-)

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Gord June 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

i’m not in love with you yet, but if these brownies turn out over the weekend then i will be. i hope that is ok.

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Kelly June 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Gord – I’m having one of those days where I could use a little love, so that is more than allowed. :-)

Sark – I will email you about this as well but I made this over the weekend and used 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup powdered in lieu of the original sugar ratio. It worked out well. I cannot say that it changed the flavor profile substantially, but I also wasn’t tasting them side by side. I also cracked a small bit of sea salt on top but honeslty wasn’t a fan. To me it distracted from the other flavors in the dish. I will say though that I’d watch the baking time. For some time this reason they were already pretty well done by the 35 minute mark. Which I found worth noting since others have had the recipe take as long as 60 minutes.

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Gord June 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

i’m in love with you.

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Kelly June 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

::Blushes::

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Kavita March 28, 2011 at 2:40 am

Hi! Thanks so much for the recipe! I googled “goat cheese brownies” and stumbled upon your site. I used the 2.0 version and I doubled the amount of goat cheese swirl. I took a knife and swirled in the, um, swirl(!), and it came out great. Yum! Thanks for a delicious recipe. I had fun reading some of your other blog entries as well, btw. I want to try your chai french toast next. Sounds super yummy (to put it in technical terms!)! Thanks again. :)

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Kelly March 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Kavita – Glad to hear that you liked the recipe and have enjoyed my blog. I always adore having new visitors, it’s what makes writing so fun. The chai french toast is delicious. Definitely worth making. You are most welcome and yummy is certainly my favorite cooking term, so technical as you say. :-)

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