These are without a doubt special-occasion brownies: super rich, indulgent, and insanely delicious. I made them for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day because the color seemed appropriate for the holiday, and they were a big hit! The bottom layer is an extra fudge-y brownie, while the top layer combines brandied raspberries and goat cheese for a tart, creamy treat. The brownies are so tasty, and anyone you give them to will know they are loved! You'll want to cut the brownies into small squares because they're very rich, and so the recipe makes a lot of servings - you might want to make a half recipe in a 8x8 pan depending on how many you need.
Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Topping (adapted from the Kitchn, original recipe here)
Makes a 9x13 pan
For the berries:
12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
2 tablespoons brandy
For the brownies:
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces chocolate chips
12 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the goat cheese topping:
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
2 T unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
1/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment and spray with oil. Set aside.
2. Stir together the thawed berries and brandy in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Place the chocolate, chocolate chips, and butter in a large saucepan. Set over low heat and melt, stirring almost constantly. Remove from heat, whisk in the milk, and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla (mixture will appear curdled). Whisk in the eggs one at a time (at this point the mixture should look much smoother.
4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in until just combined. Fold in about half the berries, and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
5. Prepare the topping. Beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, butter, egg, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the remaining berries along with their liquid and beat just briefly to combine (or fold in with a rubber spatula). Pour evenly over the brownie batter and spread with a rubber spatula into an even layer.
6. 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 will improve from an overnight rest.