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Mindy Trotta’s dark, fudgy brownies topped with chocolate-studded cannoli cream just about scream Valentine’s Day…but these treats would delight any day of the year. The Brownies sans the topping would make a great addition to a springtime picnic lunch or a yummy base for some fresh churned vanilla ice cream in a summertime Brownie Sundae. (The recipe has been adapted from pidgespantry.com.)

6 oz. good quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2c. all-purpose flour

 

1/2c. spelt flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
3/4c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the yogurt, oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix until just moistened, then stir in the chocolate chips.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack then top with the cannoli cream.

Cannoli Cream
1 1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
6 0z. cream cheese, at room temp.
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. finely chopped dark chocolate, divided

In stand mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer, combine the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth.   Add the honey, vanilla and almond extract and mix well to combine (whip for at least 3 minutes).  Fold in 1/4 c. chopped chocolate.  Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before topping the brownies. Then sprinkle the top of the cream with the remaining 1/4 c. chocolate.

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