Sunday, February 14, 2010

love in the time of brownies

Here's how not to show somebody some love:

Sugarless chocolate cake, not as in it-has-synthetic-sweetener but as in I-forgot-to-add-any-sugar-to-this-cake period. Can you say brain fart? I pity the fool who has to find a creative way to get rid of it...oh wait, that would be me. Don't pity me; just help me find the garbage can.

There are lots of ways you can tell someone you love him/her apart from sugarless chocolate cake, and lots of ways people can give love to you (besides awful cake)! Kind words, spending time together, a thoughtful act of service...little gestures can add up in huge ways.

This year, I'm spelling out love a different way:

B-R-O-W-N-I-E-S. Heart shaped, to be specific.

Brownies were probably one of the first baking things I had attempted. Back in the day, they came straight from the box. And...I used to pass them off as homemade.

Gosh. It makes me blush just to think about it.

Why I feel the need to be confessional two posts in a row is anybody's guess, but I will promise you that I haven't done that in a long long time (the masquerade of box mix for homemade, not the confessional part. That I have to do all the time). A really long time. Promise.

Okay, enough with the emo. Can I tell you about these brownies? Pleeeeeease? These are no ordinary box brownies. For starters, all that gummy chewy texture is gone. Fake chocolate taste--none of that! These are all real, all chocolate, and if you remember to add sugar (please remember!)...just the right touch of sweet. A perfect manifestation of love, if it were possible to eat love. Oh, who am I kidding? I've eaten love. This, friends...this equals love in the time of brownies.

What spells love for you, in food form or otherwise?

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies
(adapted from Donna Dooher of Food Network Canada (who knew this existed?!) but I found it via The Kitchn)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process (I get mine at Peet's), sifted
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (= half of an 8 oz. tub), softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8x8 pan (I used heart silicone molds) (you could also bake them in a mini muffin pan for brownie bites! etc.)

Melt butter in a saucepan on the stove. Place chopped semi/bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl and pour the melted butter over it. Let it sit a bit, then stir until chocolate is melted. Sift in the sugar and cocoa powder. Beat in the mascarpone, eggs, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Fold in the flour and salt.

Pour batter into pan of choice and smooth out the top. Bake 40-50 min (for 8x8 pan), 20-25 min (for regular sized cupcake-sized), less for mini or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean (a few crumbs sticking to it is fine).

(There's a ganache you can make to gild the lily (heat 6 tbp cream and 3 tbp butter until melted, pour over 6 oz. finely chopped chocolate and stir until melted; pour over cooled brownies) but I've never gotten that far...)

miscellaneous fun things: this weekend I learned that my loyalties can be easily procured with chicken and waffles! Wait, that's not really anything new.

Sammy's "love me" face.

official note: I've decided to try to get a post out every Sunday evening Monday? for consistency's sake. Perhaps more if the inspiration hits, but you can count on this, at least. I love my readers, by the way, and if you have any comments, suggestions, or inquisitions for me, let me know! Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. oh. . .I was honestly just going to ask you for this recipe!! with each heart I ate the more in love I fell - definitely my favorite brownie from one of my favorite girls. love ya!

  2. green things :) green food is pretty delicious, too.


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