Fruit Bruschetta

This looks just so wonderful! If you haven’t tried fruit with balsamic vinegar, you’re in for a treat. The idea comes from a Polish gourmet blog by way of Pinterest. It’s simple and sublime!

Ingredients

Several slices of sourdough bread

8 ounces of fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

Several ripe plums and 4 ounces of fresh raspberries

Two tablespoons of honey

1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar, olive oil for drizzling

Fresh thyme and rosemary

Directions

Toast or grill slices of bread on both sides. Drizzle olive oil on toasted bread and spread goat cheese on one side.

Cut plums in half and remove stones. Put in small pot, add honey and thyme. Cook over low heat for a few minutes until plums are tender but not falling apart. Spoon plums onto prepared toasts and drizzle with some of the fruit syrup in pot.

Put half of the raspberries into the pot with the remaining syrup, add balsamic vinegar and chopped rosemary. Heat until the raspberries just break down. Add remaining raspberries and stir. Spoon fruit onto prepared toasts and drizzle with fruit syrup.

Eat while warm.

 

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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 www.thekitchn.com, I have the perfect savory-sweet combo now.

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

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

Brownies
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.

Rhubarb-Raspberry-Chevre Trifle

My garden yielded 80 (!!) stems of rhubarb this weekend, so you bet I was looking for additional uses beyond my typical strawberry rhubarb pie and jams. This dessert fills the bill beautifully:) Thanks to the blog “What’s for Lunch, Honey”!

Ingredients

500g Rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 1 cm pieces
150g sugar
750g fresh raspberries
Zest of 1 lemon, preferably an organic lemon
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
250g quark or chevre
4 slices lemon pound cake

Instructions

In a large saucepan bring water to a boil. Add the rhubarb slices and allow to boil for a minute or two. Drain and allow to drip. Place rhubarb and 100g sugar in a food processor and purée until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together raspberries, lemon zest, 50g sugar and 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier together gently, making sure not to squish the raspberries.

In another bowl fold the rhubarb purée with the quark. Cut the lemon pound cake slices in cubes and drizzle with the remaining Grand Marnier.

Now assemble the trifle in tall glasses by placing a few cake cubes at the bottom of the glass, layer with a generous dollop of rhubarb-quark, then a few raspberries. Repeat, finishing off with a few raspberries on the top.

Keep refrigerated for at least an hour so that the flavors can infuse with each other. Serve cold, sprinkled with a few chopped pistachios if desired.

Note: If you are unable to find quark, substitute with chevre or natural sour cream mixed with whipped cream.  You can also use mascarpone cheese for this. It will be slightly richer than quark but certainly a delicious option.