No...you did NOT read that title wrong! I really DID make an avocado brownie that's marbled with feta cheesecake. This is my second entry for Denise and Lazaro's challenge. (See details at http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ or http://quickiesonthedinnertable.yolasite.com/
While you are there, be sure to check out Denise's book......
Before everyone becomes convinced that I have taken leave of my senses (again), let me explain the reasoning behind the avocado brownie. I have played around for years with different ingredients and methods in the quest to create truely scrumptuous vegan baked goods that are just as good if not better than their dairy/egg laden counterparts.
I must admit, I've made some real messes along the way. But I've made some breakthroughs as well. One of those was my Vegan Avocado Fudge Cupcake which we sold at Central Florida Veg Fest two years in a row...by the HUNDREDS. The avocado serves a dual purpose here...both as an egg replacement/emulsifier and a healthy fat source. It works amazingly well too. Granted the brownies are not vegan but I thought...why not give it a whirl and see what happens.
The results were astounding. My ridiculously rich recipe for Fleur De Sel Caramel Triple Chocolate Brownies uses a Deen-like amount of butter. I replaced one of the eggs and half of the butter with pureed avocado and the result is a dense, moist, fudge-like brownie that probably breaks the law in some states. To encorporate the feta, I made a feta cheesecake batter to swirl into the brownies. There is so much anti-oxident rich dark chocolate in these brownies that they actually look BLACK! The feta cheesecake swirl is a nice contrast.
Avocado Fudge Brownies with Feta Cheesecake Swirl
10 ounces dark (70% cacao) chocolate, chips or broken chunks
1/2 stick unsalted organic butter
1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted and peeled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
3 large organic eggs (1 for cheesecake swirl)
3/4 cup packed dark brown organic sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour (organic preferred)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
3 ounces feta cheese
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 baking pan; set aside.
Place chocolate chunks and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
While chocolate melts, combine avocado, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, salt, buttermilk, espresso powder, 2 of the whole eggs and the brown sugar in blender. Blend until smooth. Add avocado mixture to semi cooled chocolate gradually until encorporated.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with baking powder and cocoa. Pour chocolate avocado mixture into flour mixture and stir until no dry spots remain. Coat nuts in 1 of the remaining tablespoons of flour. Fold into batter. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick and fudge like. Smooth batter into prepared pan.
Prepare the Feta Cheesecake Swirl: Place remaining egg, vanilla extract, softened cream cheese and feta in blender. Add granulated sugar and last tablespoon of flour. Process until thick and smooth. If you need a couple drops of buttermilk to facilitate blending that is ok but try blending without it first. This mixture should be thick but pourable.
Using a butter knife, cut through the brownie batter in a swirl pattern. The batter is thick enough to stay put. Pour Feta Cheesecake mixture into the indentions in brownie. If additional swirling is necessary, just drag knife through until desired swirling is achieved.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. The center may still seem wet when pricked with a cake tester and that is fine. Do not overbake. Cool brownies completely before removing from pan. Cut into desired shapes. Number of servings will vary depending on how they are cut.
Check out the beautiful swirled tops...
Very dark and moist...but they cut beautifully.
a little creative plating with a ripe, juicy strawberry, a dusting of cocoa and powdered sugar and some bon bon candles. I stood one brownie on it's side for visual impact and also to show the color and texture.
The Homegrown Gourmet