Have you ever thought? Here we go again. Another year, another Valentines Day? Another dilemma! What should I do with her? What should I do for him?
Well, I am telling you, I have been there. I have also been there to help others out; as a personal chef. Besides offering a private intimate, sensual Valentine’s Day dinner for your beloved one, I can also offer simple ideas that you can execute on your own. There is a lot truth to the old-fashioned saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. So why don’t you try to make something on your own? Something like these little brownie cakes. I have a strong feeling they would put smile on your beloved’s face and place a warm feeling in their heart, especially when they find out that they are made by you. They will be more special. And this is want you want for this Valentine’s Day. To make that someone special, feel truly special.
Fudgy Brownie Cakes
Shopping List (for brownie pan 11 x 7″ that makes approximately 6 round cakes 3″ in diameter):
- 7 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa, roughly chopped)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp whole milk natural yogurt
- 4 tsp white powder sugar
- 2 mangos (peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick slices)
- 3 tbs strawberry puree (or strawberry preserve)
- tiny leaves of fresh herbs (mint, rosemary or your choice)
Now follow these steps:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water, melt chocolate while stirring constantly; set aside and let cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, add flour and cocoa powder. Stir to blend ingredients evenly.
- In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy using an electric mixer (on medium speed). Add sugars, salt and cream together with butter (on medium-high speed) until crumbly and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs (one at a time), beating until just blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and yogurt until smooth. Add slightly cooled melted chocolate and beat (on low-medium speed) until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture and beat (on low speed) until just incorporated and smooth (no more than 30 seconds).
- Line the bottom of a baking pan (I used brownie pan 11 x 7″) with parchment paper and lightly butter the sides. Pour batter into pan and spread it out evenly. Bake 20 minutes. The surface will lightly puff up and the center will be gooey and fudge-like.
- Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool in pan (45-60 minutes), place pan in the refrigerator and keep cooling for next 60 minutes.
- Using round cookie cutters (I used round cutters 3″ in diameter), gently cut out shapes from brownies (wash cutter in ice cold water after each cake). Using small mesh sifter, evenly sift powder sugar over the cakes.
- Using heart or flower shaped cookie cutter (or cutter of your choice jut make sure its size will fit on the top of the brownie cake, I used flower 2.5″ in diameter) gently cut pattern in the fruit (if you are using flower shape you can cut center of the flower out using apple corer 1/2″ in diameter). Gently place fruit over sugared brownie cakes and garnish with a little leaf of herb (mint, rosemary or of your choice). Carefully fill center of the flower with fresh strawberry puree (or strawberry preserve) using a chopstick or other narrow utensil (dip stick in the puree and let in drip into the hole, otherwise sauce will splatter all over the cake and ruin its look).
- Place each cake in a separate, paper muffin liner and package in a nice confectionery style box.
Enjoy with your loved one.
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