A whirlwind of cascading golden leaves takes over the blue sky before settling on the foliage-covered ground. Autumn’s touch is everywhere. It’s both warm and cold, inviting a comfortableness desiring to be embraced and enveloped in.
As the green floor bed turns golden with accents of brown earth, inspiration seems to follow. That’s where these Brown Cheese Cream Brownies find their roots, a reflection of the season. The dark chocolate base, fudgy with hints of coffee, becomes enfolded in the swirls of a brown cheese cream that’s caramelly and grounded. An indulgent treat balanced with sweet and savory tones.
Norwegian brown cheese lends itself to a multitude of flavors and chocolate is no exception. It provides a smooth flavor with a slight sharpness from the combination of cow’s and goat’s milk used in producing it. Melting slices of it together with a little sugar and cream is all you need to make a luscious caramel sauce.
The next time you see golden leaves swirling along the bare brown earth, I hope you’ll think of these dreamy brownies.
Brown Cheese Cream Brownies (Brownies med Brunost)
Makes 12 brownies
For the brownies:
- ½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 g) butter
- 5 ¼ ounces (150 g) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 g) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon strong coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the brown cheese cream:
- 2 2/3 ounces (75 g) Norwegian brown cheese, look for the Ski Queen brand
- 1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 7 ounces (200 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square cake pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
In a medium saucepan, warm the butter and chocolate over low heat until melted. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat. Whisk in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, and vanilla extract. Cool slightly before adding in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir well until blended. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, warm the brown cheese, sugar, and heavy cream over medium heat until the brown cheese is melted. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the room temperature cream cheese for a minute or two until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and whip to combine. Stir in the cooled brown cheese caramel until well blended. Set aside.
Pour half of the chocolate mixture in the prepared cake pan. Spoon half of the brown cheese cream mixture in dollops on top of the chocolate mixture and then use a wooden skewer to gently swirl the brown cheese cream to create a pattern. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture evenly on top and smooth to the edges. Add dollops of the remaining brown cheese cream and swirl them gently with the skewer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until stiff, but somewhat jiggly in the middle – a toothpick inserted in the center will come out almost clean. Let cool completely in the pan before removing by lifting up the baking paper. Cut into 12 squares or 16 smaller ones and serve.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.