They are intense dark chocolate brownies swirled with crème de cassis, soaked berries and a creamy soft cheese topping. I baked them a couple of weeks back when I hosted a charity coffee morning, a ‘Great Pink Bake Off’ for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It was a very popular bake and many of my friends requested the recipe, so here it is.
I have adapted it from an excellent article in The Guardian, ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’. I have adapted mine by increasing the chocolate intensity, reducing the sugar slightly, substituting the raspberries for various dark berries and currants that I have in my freezer. Those of you who have followed the blog know I have a freezer full of gorgeous summer berries, the fruits of our numerous pick your own labours this summer. I have soaked these blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries in crème de cassis but this is purely optional. I have used salted butter as I love the ‘salty/sweet’ taste with the dark chocolate. I have also changed the quantities of goat’s and cream cheese. I find there is nothing more irritating than buying an ‘out of the ordinary’ ingredient – for example, the goat’s cheese here and having to buy two packs, knowing you will only use one and a half of the quantity. I have played around with these quantities to make this bake more practical and economic, at the same time as making it still taste delicious.
These brownies are very easy to make and there is little room for error. They are deliciously ‘fudgy’, which goes wonderfully with the tartness of the berries and the creaminess of the soft cheese topping.
These Brownies go a long way too – you will get 24, good portions from this bake. Perfect with morning coffee, afternoon tea, or served with a spoonful of cream for a lovely dessert. Just as well really…
- 180g mixed berries & currants - blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants
- 2 tbsp. of crème de cassis (optional)
- 300g dark, good quality chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 175g salted butter
- 125ml whole milk
- 375g unrefined golden caster sugar, or caster sugar, plus 40g for the topping
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste
- 5 eggs (4 eggs for the Brownie, plus 1 for the topping)
- 130g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 150g soft goat's cheese
- 150g full fat cream cheese
- Rinse the berries and currants and pat dry. Place in a bowl, add the crème de cassis, if using, mix and set aside.
- In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Prepare a 20cm x 30cm baking tray by greasing and lining with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
- In a large saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Once melted set aside to cool before adding the milk. Whisk. Add 375g of sugar and the vanilla paste and combine. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in approximately half of the berries and currants, along with the juices. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and distribute evenly.
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, or with a hand held electric whisk, beat together the goat's cheese, cream cheese, the remaining egg and 40g of sugar. Once light and fluffy, fold in the remaining fruit.
- With a large spoon, drop portions of the goat's cheese mixture onto the brownie mixture. Swirl the mixture with a knife, ensuring that you get a good 'swirl' but without over mixing.
- Bake the brownie for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cool, cut into portions and serve. Store in an airtight container.
Source: Adapted from Faith Durand’s recipe as seen in The Guardian’s ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’