Don't be intimidated by the unusual sound of these goat cheese brownies. The mild and creamy flavor of goat cheese pairs perfectly with creamy chocolate and I think you'll find these unique brownies are addicting.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. (If you want thinner brownies, you can use a 9x9-inch pan. The baking time might need to be shortened.)
Combine the butter and chopped chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring frequently, until the butter and chocolate have melted and are smooth. Add the granulated sugar and whisk it in. If the chocolate is quite warm, let it cool to room temperature before continuing.
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. The brownie batter will first look grainy and separated, but as you continue whisking it will come together and get thick and shiny, like pudding. This process may take 1-2 minutes of whisking. After it is smooth and shiny, add the room temperature goat cheese and the vanilla, and whisk them in.
Finally, sift the flour, cocoa, and salt over the bowl, and stir everything together gently with a spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Bake the brownies at 325 F for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them.
To Make the Goat Cheese Frosting:
Combine the butter and goat cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat on low speed until the sugar is mixed in. Raise the speed to medium and beat for another minute, until light and fluffy.
Spread the goat cheese frosting on top of the cooled brownies in an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before adding the glaze on top.
To Make the Chocolate Glaze:
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan, and place the pan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer, with bubbles appearing along the sides of the pan, but don't bring it to a full boil.
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit and soften the chocolate for 1 minute. After a minute, whisk the chocolate and cream together until it is smooth and shiny. Pour it over the brownies and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the brownies until the glaze is firm, at least 45 minutes.
To cut the brownies, lift them from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut them into small squares. Wash the knife frequently in warm water between cuts for the cleanest cuts. These brownies are easiest to cut when cold, but for the best taste and texture, let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before eating them. If desired, top with a pinch of flaked sea salt just before serving.