Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brownie Love

Fromage Blanc Brownies

I usually hate getting all those batch emails that get forwarded and passed around by most people. You know which ones I’m talking about; it’s not only the spam that bothers me, but it’s the junk mail that gets circulated by all your friends that are supposed to be hard at work in the office. Hey, aren’t you supposed to be working?

Sorry to say, but I’m not really interested in the next thing that I should stop using because it might cause cancer, nor do I want to know that I will have bad luck or never find true love if I don’t pass on this email to ten people in the next five minutes. I think the only exception to this peeve is a forwarded email I received about chocolate and women. I can’t even remember the details of the email, not even vaguely, but I do remember laughing in concurrence about how right the email was about women and their affection for chocolate.

I can’t speak for every woman, but I can speak for the ones I do know and it’s true, we cannot say no to chocolate. And I sincerely believe that there is nothing that chocolate cannot solve. You have a bad day at the office, you have a bad hair day, you snap a heel, you have a fight with your partner, you have a headache, and for all those dilemmas, there’s always chocolate. Am I right, or am I right?


I am not sure whether it’s the chemicals in chocolate that tickle the endorphins in our brains that make us love it so much but it is pretty unanimous that the majority of women enjoy chocolate. Well while I was stuck at home, nursing my sore larynx and slowly sinking into a despair that can only be brought about by being given strict orders to be house-bound for 3 days straight, I decided that a batch of brownies would be the only remedy.

Okay so perhaps this method is not scientifically proven, nor do I recommend it when trying to get over an illness but all I can say that it was more to soothe my tired mind of having to stay at home for so long. I had some Fromage Blanc lying around in the fridge that was going to spoil if I didn’t use it, so I decided to exercise my brain by concocting a brownie recipe that included the fromage blanc.

Fromage Blanc is a soft white cheese that is very similar to cream cheese although has the consistency of sour cream. As the fromage blanc is quite dense, and you don’t want to end up eating something that feels like bricks, I decided to make the brownies in the same method as you would a sponge cake. You separate the eggs and beat the whites until you get stiff peaks and then add it to the batter. The end result is a cake that is still quite dense and chocolaty, although it isn’t stiff and stodgy. Just be warned a couple of squares is more than enough to satisfy, so make sure you aren’t too greedy.

Fromage Blanc Brownies

Also don’t be too meticulous in mixing in the fromage blanc, don’t worry if you get some chunks in the batter, you will find that you will get little bursts of white in the brownies in the end that are a nice treat. If you want more brownie action, make sure you wander over to Myriam’s for a round up of this month’s Brownie Babe.

For now here is the recipe.

Chocolate Fromage Blanc Brownies
makes 16 squares

60g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
170g dark chocolate
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
140g fromage blanc

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a square baking tin with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate and butter in a small bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water. Stir until blended.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Sift flour and baking powder together, set aside.
In a another bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla and half of the sugar until pale and thick.
Stir in the melted chocolate and fromage blanc.
In another bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form.
Fold in flour mixture until just incorporated into the batter.
Pour batter into prepared baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes and then lift out from the tin.
Cut brownie into squares.


Inne said...

I second that Jen - chocolate solves everything!

Anonymous said..., I am definitly going through a season where not only do I NEED chocolate but I deserve it..and that looks really really good.
Send it to me within 1 hour of reading this or weeds will abound in our garden..
No? It was worth a shot... :)

Anonymous said...

Jen, these look really good! I think I may try these out this weekend. My family loves cheesecake brownies, so I can imagine that this won't be too terribly much of a departure.

myriam said...

oh look - white polka dots! and a wonderful brownie. thanks for joining!

Jerry said...

Chocolate is good any day, any season! Oh and I tag you for seven random facts my down under friend!

Anonymous said...

These look good Jenjen. I think they would care ANYTHING!

Shing said...

that's an elegant brownie in the box! my hectic day is smoothed just by looking at it :)

thanx again for inspiration!

Eva said...

Those brownies really look like they could help me survive a busy weekend... Furthermore, they're not even full of butter - time for seconds...

Cakelaw said...

Yum - these brownies look delicious Jen.

leonine194 said...

my gosh, can't resist, to such brownies!

Caty said...

The brownies look devine! And you're definitly right, chocolate solves everything.

Stepmom said...

i know it's very un-womanly of me, but i'm not a big chocolate eater... but these brownies look just amazing! next time i have a craving for chocolate, i'll have to give them a try!

Anonymous said...

Chocolate, of course, they can make me feel really happy! The brownies seem delicious!

Jen said...

Inne- I couldn't agree more!

Marye- Hehe. Nice try but you are just going to make these brownies for yourself.

Kris- I am not much of a cheesecake fan, but a brownie cheesecake sounds particularly good.

Myriam- It's a polka dot bonanza!

Jerry- Chocolate is an everyday kinda food.

Thanks for tagging me, I will definitely give it a go, although I must warn you that I can be rather tardy in replying to tags. But i'm on to it!

Bea- Thanks. It sounds stupid but yes these brownies could turn any frown upside down.

Charis- I'm glad the brownies were a source of calm, I guess that;s the effect of chocolate.

Eva- Yeah, I hate making all those brownie recipes that require a whole block of butter. These taste just as good without all that butter.

Cakelaw- Thanks!

Leonine194- They are quite irresistible aren't they.

Caty- I'm glad you agree : )

Candy- You are a rare find, seeing as that you aren't obsessed with chocolate like other females. But don't worry we won't hold it against you : )

Noemie- Thanks. Chocolate is great isn't it.

Anonymous said...

All your cakes are very beautiful !Thank you for the receipes !