Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirl Version 2.1

by Kelly on June 9, 2010

Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre SwirlsThere are many things I love about blogging, but one of my favorites is the interaction with readers.  Working as a marketing professional by day we talk a lot about one way vs. two way conversations and I love that blogging can truly be the latter.  I read every single comment and especially enjoy ones that provide thoughts on how to make a recipe better, suggest another recipe that is similar or tweak it in some way.  Such was the case when I blogged about my Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls (posted here and here).  I first made these brownies after trying the Vermont Brownie Company’s Dark Chocolate Chevre Brownies at The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival.    The brownies were so heavenly that I rushed to my kitchen to recreate them.  However, since I didn’t have a brownie in hand as I made them they were more inspired by the original rather than a true copy.  Clearly I was not the only one who found their brownies fanastic as The Vermont Brownie Company was featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.  Shockingly I have STILL not seen this episode, but many readers stopped by to share tips and tricks they had learned from the show prompting me to give the brownies another try with a second recipe.  However, there were STILL two hints shared as comments to the second recipe that I hadn’t had a chance to try out:

  • The original recipe includes a mix of brown and granulated sugar
  • The brownies are finished with a sprinkling of sea salt  before going in the oven

While I generally don’t make a recipe more than once or twice, these suggestions were enough to make me want to tinker with the recipe again.  I don’t know what it is about these brownies, but they somehow prompt me to bake endlessly in search of the most ethereal version.  This version is pretty fanastic as well.  It’s just a slight variation from my second recipe and every bit as delicious.  Some day I’ll need to make all three of my versions side by side so I can note the differences (and perhaps invite friends over to choose an ultimate winner).  The only thing I am not quite sold on is the sea salt sprinkle on top.  Even though I didn’t use very much I found it a little distracting and although it might make it more like the original, I’ll likely omit it in the future.  I brought these to a cocktail party over the weekend along with my Rhubarb Chutney and Blue Cheese Toasts and they were an easy hit.  There are also some other variations out on the web that sound every bit as fanastic (although I cannot vouch for their similarities to the original brownies) like Goat Cheese Brownies Marbled with Fresh Raspberries, Caramel Lemon Chevre Brownies, and Chocolate Walnut Chevre Brownies (which use a boxed mix for a quick shortcut).

**As an aside, tickets are now on sale for this year’s festival, scheduled for July 25.  They are only $30, which is a bargain for all the fabulous cheese you get to sample.  Unfortunately it’s unlikely I’ll be able to attend this year now that I live in the Midwest, but I HIGHLY recommend you go if you live in New England or can swing a trip to Vermont.  And if you do go be sure to sample some brownies straight from the source, presuming they will be presenting again.**

 

Deep Chocolate Brownies with Chevre Swirls Version 2.1

Yields 16 brownies

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
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup powdered sugar
-3/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
-3 large eggs
-1/2 cup canola oil
-2 tablespoons water
-1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional
-1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon medium ground sea salt, optional (I used my salt grinder to get something between a fine powder and the larger crystals)

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 extracts. 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. Swirl the two mixtures together with a knife if desired. Sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt if using.

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. I usually prick more than one area to ensure I haven’t gotten a chocolate chip or chunk. You also definitely DO NOT want to overbake these as you’ll lose the fudginess of the texture so I watch these carefully.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Ash June 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I feel like I should leave a comment with interesting information and suggestions now that I know you take them so constructively! So, here’s my constructive comment – please send me some brownies. They look divine!

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brandi June 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I seriously almost drooled on my keyboard. They look amazing!

And that picture is beautiful.

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Elina June 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I’ve been thinking of those brownies ever since you featured them first (and second) and seeing the Bobby Flay show. We are actually going to Vermont in 2 weeks and I already researched places where they sell them 🙂
Where did you stay in VT last time you went to the festival? Which tickets would you recommend? I probably won’t be able to go back so soon but still good to know.

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To Kiss the Cook June 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I’m not going to make it to Vermont either though I am obsessed with taking a VT Cheese Tour on my own timetable. Incidentally there could not have been a more torturous day to be confronted with the goat cheese brownies of bake sale fame. I need chocolate in a bad way and I am not hell bent to see it come in the form of cheesecake or some other similar vehicle.

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Jessica @ How Sweet June 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

This would probably be my most favorite brownie ever. Amazing!

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Kelly June 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Elina – We stayed at a Sheraton near downtown as I used some points I had saved from my job. It was perfect as it was not a far drive at all and was also close enough to the downtown area of Burlington to see the local sites.

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CaSaundra June 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

I love brownies with salt on top–the salty/sweet combo is to die for!

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Maris June 10, 2010 at 11:49 am

I can’t even believe that these could be better than the ones you made for the bake sale. Those were unreal, they were so good!

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Shanti Day June 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I saw the Throwdown and immediately went to buy their brownies. And choked when I saw the prices. And cheered when I saw your recipe. (It was a very emotionally exhausting week!)
I’ve now made your version 2.0 several times – each time to rave reviews from people who think I am a genius. I rarely tell them how easy it is, but for the people who actually care about baking I send them to your blog 🙂
Thanks!

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Kelly June 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Shanti – I am so thrilled to hear how well they turned out for you. I will admit that the recipes I get that earn the most rave reviews tend to be the simplest so I don’t let them in on how easy they are either. 🙂

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The Duo Dishes June 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Swooning over the flavor combination in these! This version sounds even better than the first.

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Sy July 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I am so happy that you have posted this – I am going to try your 2.1 recipe tomorrow. I have been wanting to make them ever since the Throwdown episode. You an watch the video of the original throwdown here, just fyi.
http://residentfoodies.com/?p=712

You’ll notice they seem to use a ganache base for their brownies…

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Tifani July 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I have obsessed over those brownies since the first time I saw the Throwdown episode. Now that we have a local goat cheese source at our farmer’s market, I had to find a recipe. Yours will be the first that I try. Wish me luck.

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Kelly July 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Sy – Thank you so much for the link. I will definitely watch it. I sense then there may be a 2.2 version or even a 3.0 version coming on.

Tifani – Good luck! I warn you that they are delightfully rich and addictive. I rarely make a recipe more than once, but have been adapting these again and again.

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Lauren July 9, 2010 at 7:44 am

My favorite brownie recipe is the Williams Sonoma version, so I did that when trying this out. I’d seen the Throwdown and drooled over the chevre. 😀 They were a massive hit here. I do have to say I’d prefer the cheese to be creamier, so I might leave out the flour/egg next time, and just add the powdered sugar when whipping it up in my mixer. The flavors are wonderful though, and won over my skeptical neighbors! Thank you!

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Kelly July 9, 2010 at 11:27 am

Lauren, glad to hear you enjoyed it. If you do make it again leaving out the flour and egg I’d be curious to see how it turns out. 🙂 I know adding in a little cream cheese can also make it creamier (since the texture is such) but mellows out the chevre flavor.

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Wendy April 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Just so you know, fudgy is spelled f-u-d-g-y.

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Kelly April 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Wendy, noted. 🙂 I try to spell check everything but without a copy editor I’m only human. Fudgy/fudgey is one of those weird words that I’ve never found in the dictionary online so when in doubt, I guess. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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asmith June 29, 2011 at 12:12 am

i’m visiting my sister for 3 weeks on holiday. we watched the foodnetwork throwdown rerun with bobby flay and the vermont baking co. i got online to search for the brownie recipe and found yours, and now i’m following your blog 🙂 we’re going to make the brownies this week…i’m excited!!

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Kelly June 29, 2011 at 12:15 am

Glad to hear you’re excited. I love this recipe, it is absolutely one of my favorites!

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Abbie White July 16, 2011 at 11:40 am

Just made these and I love them! LOVE. Nice work:) I’ll definitely be blogging about them and linking back to your recipe.

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Rebecca Avila February 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have made these a few times and they are always a hit. I change things up a bit though with the recipe. Instead of all purpose flour I use pastry/cake flour. I love fudgy brownies usually but the flavor with these are so rich I feel it becomes overpowering. I also top them with a healthy layer of dark chocolate raspberry ganache. They are literally to die for. I don’t even like chocolate and I find myself craving them.

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Kelly February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hi Rebecca,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your comment. I love the idea of switching our pastry or cake flour for the brownies. I always have cafe flour on hand so I’ll have to try it the next time I make them. I also love the sound of paring them with a raspberry ganache. Yum! I have a girlfriend who makes them and serves them with a raspberry sauce so it definitely sounds like a flavor combo many people enjoy. Thanks again for visiting and sharing your comment. I appreciate it.

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