Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart

Here in northern Michigan we are poised to enter the summer fruit season…with the prospect of NO fruit this year! Repeated spring frosts have decimated the blossoms on virtually all of our fruit crops. So no apricots, strawberries, peaches, raspberries, cherries (gasp!), even apples are threatened. Horrors.

I am just hoping that the wild blackberries have escaped this awful fate. As a talisman against this eventuality, I offer the following dessert, courtesy of Blondie’s Cakespot.

Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted from Always With Butter

1 cup flour
pinch of salt
7 Tbsp butter, room temp
3 oz cream cheese, room temp

6 oz fresh goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

12 oz blackberries (or more)
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp thyme leaves

– Combine everything in a food processor and pulse a few times until the dough is uniform. Turn out onto a piece of saran wrap, shape into a flat disk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It will be a very soft dough at this point so you definitely need to chill it to make it workable.
– Preheat the oven to 350F. The original instructions tell you to grease a 12×8″ tart pan, but I used my 9″ round one and didn’t grease it and everything still came out beautifully.
– On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and fit into your tart pan, trimming the edges. Stick it into the freezer. If you have some extra dough left over, re-roll it and make an extra mini-tart for later.

– Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Pour into the pan, smooth the top and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Once the top is just slightly puffy and golden you should be all set.
– Let the tart cool completely, top with berries (as many as you like), a drizzle of honey over the top, and shower with the rest of the thyme leaves, if you like a savory note.


Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl Brownies

Ohhhh! I know what I’m doing tomorrow, in preparation for <3’s day! This luscious version of my husband’s favorite cookie couldn’t be improved upon by anything better! Thanks to, I have the perfect savory-sweet combo now.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
Makes about 30 small brownie squares

2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed (thawed, if frozen)
2 tablespoons brandy or Kirsch

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or any 3-quart dish, like the gratin dish I use here) with butter or baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the brandy or Kirsch. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with hand beaters, or by hand with a heavy whisk) beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. 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 of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.

PS: I made these the week of Valentine’s day and used a shortcut, namely, a Duncan Hines brownie mix along with the goat cheese filling. It worked splendidly, as evidenced by the following photos! I also skipped the raspberries, opting instead for the only choice I had onhand, raspberry jam. Worked wonderfully, just cut back a bit on the sugar if you use the jam.

New Lemon Goat Cheesecake!

I love reading Tartelette, especially at this time of year:) Her recipes, remembrances and photos are divine. This one is a relatively new entry, and since I’ve OD’d on butter, flour and powdered sugar from Christmas cookie baking, it’s a nice antidote. You can either make the garnishing syrup with blood oranges, or if you don’t have those, substitute navel oranges. This should be a wonderful variation on a favorite theme of mine, goat cheese custards. Thank you, Helene, for the recipe and pix!

Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Blood Orange Syrup:

Makes 8 mini cheesecakes

For the cheesecake:
1 cup (250ml) graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons (60gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (200gr) sugar, divided
8 oz (240r) fresh mild goat cheese, at room temperature
8 oz (240gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
juice and zest of a whole lemon
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325F and position a rack in the middle. Line 8 standard sized muffin tins with liners and slighly spray with cooking spray. Place the muffin pan in a large roasting pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, the melted butter and 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin liners and pat with the back of a spoon. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool. Lower the heat to 300F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining sugar with the cheeses and the lemon zest on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat another 30 seconds. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners. Add hot water to the roasting pan but do not worry about coming up halfway the side of the muffin pan too much. The oven temperature is already so low that the water is just to be on the safe side. Add at least one inch inside the roasting pan.

Bake the mini cheesecakes for 20 minutes or until slightly giggling (or jiggle – whatever suits your mood) in the middle still. Keep an eye on them as they bake rather fast this way. Let cool completely before unmolding and serving with the blood orange syrup.

Notes: I made 8 small ones (baked in muffin tins) but you could make two 4-inch ones and bake them for about 10 minutes longer at the same heat.

For the blood orange syrup:
1 cup (250ml) fresh blood orange juice
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar

In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, stir together the blood orange juice and the sugar over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer down until the liquid is about reduced by half. Let cool and serve with the cheesecakes.

PS for gluten-free graham crackers, check out this recipe!

Pumpkin-chevre-cream cheese bars

There is just practically no limit to the dishes I want to make with pumpkin at this time of year. Breads, custards, muffins, bars, side dishes, etc, etc. The vegetable is on my top-10 list. And now that I think of it, it’s not just for this time of year.

One Perfect Bite had this up today, and I am tweaking it to add chevre in place of one third the cream cheese. This substitution cuts the fat and makes the bars healthier…if you can get fresh chevre, the flavor will be divine.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup gingerbread cookie crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

8 0unces room temperature fresh goat cheese (chevre)
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Combine crust ingredients. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and set aside. Firmly press remainder of crumbs onto bottom of prepared pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
3) Combine cream cheese, chevre and sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in canned pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla and orange zest. Add eggs and heavy cream and beat on low speed until just combined. Pour filling over crust.
4) Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; then cover and chill for at least 8 hours. I chill them overnight. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs just before cutting cake into squares.

Yield: 20 servings.

Spinach, Chevre and Roasted Garlic Dip

We just dug up our garlic bulbs this weekend, and they smell so awesome! They are drying now in the garage and will then go into storage in dark paper bags to await culinary greatness. This is one recipe that will do justice to them. And the spinach will give you a nice boost to your healthiness, to say nothing of the goat cheese! I really feel you could go with 100% chevre, esp. if you want to cut the fat down by half:)

Love the dip, love the cute little pan!

Serves 4


  • 5 oz. frozen spinach
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 head of roasted garlic (directions here)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Thaw and drain the spinach well.  Remove the roasted garlic by squeezing the cloves – it should have the consistency of a paste – if it doesn’t, quickly run your knife through the garlic.

Using a spatula, mix the cream cheese, goat cheese and garlic.  Fold in the spinach.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place mixture in an oven safe dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Cook for 20-25 minutes or until completely warmed through and the top is golden brown.

Thanks to the Urban Spork for the recipe and photo:)

Strawberry-Chevre Pie for the Fourth of July!

This dessert has the red and white all over it, but no blue. Don’t hold that against it, though, it’s a wonderful early-July treat for your backyard gatherings. We use the cream cheese-chevre coating on the bottom and side of the pie shell to keep the juice of the strawberries from soaking through the crust. It also lends a nice creaminess to the pie.


6 cups sliced fresh strawberries (1.5 quarts)

4 oz softened cream cheese

2 oz softened chevre

1/3 cup sugar


1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup water

4 tablespoons strawberry flavored gelatin

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 (9 inch) prepared piecrust


  1. Slice berries
  2. Mix cream cheese, chevre and 1/3 Cup sugar to make a smooth paste, coat already baked piecrust with mixture.
    1. Mix together the sugar, water, gelatin and cornstarch in a medium large saucepan. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat.
    2. Fold in the sliced strawberries, toss until well coated. Pour into the crust.
    3. Chill until well set. Serve topped with whipped cream, if desired.


Caramel Lemon Chevre Brownies

Sooo much better than practically every chocolate dessert!

LunaCafe’s Burnt Caramel & Lemon Chevre Brownies

The flavor contrasts here are sophisticated and marvelous. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve these brownies to the most discriminating dinner guest. The bittersweet chocolate layer is deeply flavored with the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder and espresso. The caramel is just shy of burnt, with a complexity that pairs beautifully with the chocolate. The periodic hits of sharp, creamy lemon chevre filling are surprising and delightful. Every bite brings a different combination of the elements. This is NOT a children’s dessert, it’s an adult indulgence.

Even though these brownies are very rich and decadent, it’s hard to stop eating them. Fair warning. Do not put out a full plate of them unless you want your guests to fall victim to their powers.

SERVING NOTE   These brownies need time to set up before removing  from the pan and attempting to cut them. So be sure to bake well ahead of when you plan to serve them. I think they are even better one or even two days after baking.

Burnt Caramel (recipe below)
Lemon Chevre-Cream Cheese Filling
(recipe below)

2 teaspoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour to coat the baking pan

6 ounces best-quality, bittersweet chocolate (70-75% cacao)

1 cup King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ cup best-quality unsweetened, natural cocoa powder (not alkalized or Dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter 
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten

  1. Prepare Burnt Caramel and cool to room temperature. You can speed this up by putting the pan into an ice water bath, being careful of course not to get any of the water into the caramel.
  2. Prepare Lemon Chevre-Cream Cheese Filling. Reserve.
  3. Line an 8- by 8-inch, light colored, metal baking pan with aluminum foil, and then lightly butter and flour the foil, tapping out excess flour. Don’t be tempted to forgo the aluminum foil here. The caramel sticks to the pan like crazy. (A 9-by 9-inch baking pan will also work here as the batter rises to the rim of the 8- by 8-inch pan.)
  4. In a glass bowl or measuring cup, melt the chocolate in a microwave, giving it two 30 second intervals to begin with and then 10 second intervals thereafter, stirring after each interval with a dry spatula, until the chocolate softens and can be stirred smooth with a chopstick or narrow flexible spatula. (Be careful not to introduce even a drop of water into the chocolate during this process or subject the chocolate to too much heat, or it may seize and become irretrievably crumbly, rather than creamy and smooth.) Cool chocolate at room temperature to just barely warm.
  5. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, cacao, and baking soda together. Whisk thoroughly to distribute the cocoa powder and baking soda. Reserve.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, and corn syrup until pale and creamy, a full 3 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla, espresso powder, and salt, and blend well.
  8. Add the egg and beat until incorporated and creamy, about 1 minute.
  9. Add the cooled chocolate and mix briefly to incorporate.
  10. Add the flour mixture to the batter and pulse just until combined.
  11. Spread half the brownie batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  12. Spoon mounds of Burnt Caramel evenly over the brownie batter.
  13. Spread the remaining half of brownie batter over the caramel mounds. You will need to spread gently in order not to mix the two layers.
  14. Spoon mounds of Lemon Chevre-Cream Cheese Filling on top of the brownie batter. Using a knife or tip of a rubber spatula, gently swirl the two batters together to that they are mixed but not completely blended.
  15. Tap the pan hard several times on the counter to level the layers.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. The batter will still jiggle somewhat in the center even after the brownies are done. The knife test won’t work here because the caramel is sticky and wet when hot. Do not overbake!
  17. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then lift the brownies from the pan with the foil. Peel away the foil from the sides and bottom of the brownies, and cut with a large chef’s knife into 2-inch squares. (You will need to dip the knife into hot water and wipe clean between each cut.)

Makes 16 brownies, about 2-inches high.

Burnt Caramel  

This is a beautiful, thick caramel that is taken almost to a burnt sugar edge in the caramelization process. If this is your first time making caramel, you will want to aim for a medium-amber rather than a dark-amber color. The latter takes a bit of practice. Just a shade too dark, and the caramel will have a bitter edge to it, which is not desirable.

1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup water

¾ cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. To caramelize the sugar, in a 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the syrup clears. To prevent crystallization, do not rush this first step; use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to wash down the sides of the saucepan.
  2. When the sugar is fully dissolved, raise the heat, bring the syrup to a boil, and stop stirring. Continue heating without stirring until the syrup turns a medium-dark amber color. (An instant-read thermometer will test at 340°, but color alone is a better indicator.)
  3. Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream and then the butter. The mixture will foam and sputter, so be very careful. When sputtering subsides, stir with a silicon spatula until smooth.
  4. Return to a boil and boil until the mixture reaches 250°. Add the salt and incorporate.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  6. To cool the caramel rapidly, pour it into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Set the cup into a ice water bath, making sure that no water gets into the caramel while it is cooling.

Makes about 1 cup thick-set caramel.

Lemon Chevre-Cream Cheese Filling

This filling is excellent with chocolate brownies or cupcakes.

4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces fresh mild goat cheese
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, goat cheese, and sugar until smooth.
  2. Beat in the egg until creamy and then beat in the lemon zest and juice.
  3. Dollop the entire amount in mounds over the top of an 8- by 8-inch pan of brownie batter and swirl in, or top individual cupcakes with about two teaspoons of the filling.

Makes about 1½ cups.