Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baking Resolution #1 - Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies

So if you recall, I recently made a resolution to make one new dessert a week. Tonight I took one step closer to fulfilling this goal by making these dark chocolate brownies from scratch. Let me back up a few steps though, I made this resolution because growing up I loved baking. Something you may not know about me is that I was in 4-H for some time. Now, I didn't live on a farm so I never showed cows or anything like that. Instead my mom, who also loved crafting, saw how much I enjoyed creating things so she found me a 4-H group to join. During the year I sewed, baked, learned photography, and made a few crappy homemade mosaic step stones. Then when summer arrived we gathered at the Aksarben fair grounds to show off what we had accomplished in hopes of taking away a ribbon and a monetary prize (Oh, did no one tell you there was a cash take away?). 

When I saw these brownies I thought it might be too much, I mean, I'm pretty rusty at baking. But I challenged myself to kick that recipe's ass, and kick ass I did. 

Here's the recipe (I did make a few small adjustments if you want to compare in the link above), makes about 30 small brownie squares:

  • 2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed
  • 2 tablespoons honey bourbon (I used Jack Daniel's Honey Bourbon)
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350ΒΊF and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan  with baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the bourbon. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a larger saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. 
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.
In the bowl with a heavy whisk beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely set. The top will be just turning light brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Store at room temperature, well-covered. The flavor and texture of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.
Pretty cool huh? I have to say that these were actually pretty easy to make and definitely made me more confident to keep up this goal for the rest of the year!
In case you were wondering, Bebop didn't help at all. Rather he just stood there and stared at me like this (PS this is the first time he hasn't turned away from my new camera so it's the first photo I've been able to take of him head on! Happy day!)

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