Oh. My. Goodness. Do you like goat cheese? If you haven't tried it go out and get some right now. Not only will you broaden your horizons (which aren't very big in the food world if you haven't had this yet anyway) but you'll have 1 ingredient to make this delicious recipe already. I saw this recipe on the food network a couple years ago, during Lent of all times, and I wanted so desperately to make it but had given up chocolate (as always) and forgot about it. It popped into my head again today and so on my way back from work I scurried over to TJ's and picked up an 8 oz log of it (it was about $2.30, not bad in my opinion). I searched online to try and find Vermont Brownie Company's secret recipe, but of course they don't post it. So after watching the episode online again (Throwdown with Bobby Flay vs. VBC) I got some hints and then found a fellow blogger online who posted a great recipe for the chevre swirl, and then I used a simple deep chocolate brownie recipe for the brownie part but substituted a lot to make it healthier. I actually used pure maple syrup from Vermont instead of sugar-- I think those Vermont girls have some competition!! Now next time I make these I am definitely going to get 2 logs of goat cheese, 1 because I am obsessed with goat cheese, and 2 because these brownies really need some chevre loving!
Chevre Brownies with Sea Salt
Chevre Swirl Mixture:
12 oz chevre (aka goat cheese), room temperature
2 tbs whole wheat flour
2 tbs honey (or maple syrup or agave)
In a bowl, mix these ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
Deep Chocolate Brownie Mixture (adapted from Epicurious.com):
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter (I ended up using 1 cup of olive oil actually because we're out of butter!)
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate + 10 oz chunks to sprinkle on top
- 1 1/2 cups light agave nectar or 2 cups maple syrup (I know maple syrup is expensive, so you can use honey or agave if you want, i'm sure it'll be great too!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (whenever you substitute maple syrup for sugar, always add 1/4 tsp baking soda per cup)
- 5 large eggs
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt, plus big chunks to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt butter and chocolate in a 3-qt heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, then whisk into chocolate mixture until combined.
Spread 3/4 of the mixture in a pan. Cover that mixture with chevre mixture on top. Then add remaining brownie mixture. Take a knife or fork and make lines horizontally and vertically to create a swirl with the chevre and the brownie mixture. Beautiful right!?! Sprinkle sea salt chunks (not pictured here-- I ran out!) and chunks of dark chocolate on top. Bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with crumbs, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool completely.
2nd Attempt at the brownies: