Thursday, 28 November 2013

Blue Cheese Brownies

Dear readers,

There have been some interesting developments in brownie recipes recently; the latest trend being the addition of marmite. I remembered one Chemistry lesson when I was in college and we watched a clip of Heston Blumenthal making a chocolate fondant with blue cheese. Until I made these brownies, I'd never tasted chocolate and blue cheese together before. I searched the internet and couldn't find any existing brownie recipes with blue cheese. I did, however, come across a blue cheese truffle recipe.

I am no expert on blue cheese but I chose to use gorgonzola because I love the pungency and tanginess of it. I also love the sound of the word gorgonzola! However, I am sure that this recipe would work well with any type of blue cheese. I used the same base recipe as I did for my Salted and Spiced Dulce de Leche Brownies.

Blue Cheese Brownies
200g good quality dark chocolate
200g butter
100g blue cheese
250g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
125g plain flour

Melt the chocolate, cheese and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water and set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar and mix with the cooled chocolate, cheese and butter. Sieve and stir in the cocoa and flour. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes at 190°C. Slice once cooled.
I cooked these brownies for 30 minutes and they turned out a little dry, so I have reduced the baking time to 25 minutes in this recipe.

I found these brownies truly fascinating! The gorgonzola flavour was very subtle but added a deep, tangy complexity of flavours which came through near the end of each bite. I was very impressed and surprised at how delicious they were; I was half expecting them to turn out to be inedible! This recipe seems to achieve the perfect balance - if there were any more cheese I think that they would taste unpleasant.

I took these brownies into work (I work with a number of Food Scientists) and, as an experiment, I asked my colleagues to sample the brownies to see if they could guess the secret ingredient. It was great fun! Some suggested marmite, a few suggested stock cubes and one colleague even suggested green tea! A few picked up on the cheesy notes, however, only one person guessed the secret ingredient correctly (after a struggle!). In fact, they were from the Sensory department and have been working in Food Sensory Science for over 15 years! So, perhaps their correct conclusion doesn't count, since they are trained for this exact type of research!

In conclusion, these brownies caused quite a stir (to say the least!) and I now have my colleagues asking me if I will be continuing this "Monday Taster Challenge". I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested to have a go at making them, even if it is just to see people strive to guess the secret ingredient! I wonder if these actually have been made before, I find it difficult to believe that they haven't. I also wonder if blue cheese brownies will be the next flavour trend after the 'Marmite Brownies'. We shall see...