Valentine’s Day is almost here… It’s knocking on the door of our hearts despite our busy lives, and regardless of whether we are married or single.
Who is/are your Valentine(s)? I’d love to hear!!!!!!!!!!
From my precious 2 children to me!!!
Well, I have mine: My supportive husband, my two children who are the blessings of my life, my beloved family in Brazil, true friends who are mostly far away, and those who have demonstrated constant support to this blog and my endeavors.
To each one of you, a humungous thanks. You are my true Valentines. I am blessed to have you in my life, to have people who make me smile — even behind a computer…
To each of you, I wish more than a day of celebration… I wish you a life filled with love, excitement, and wonderful blessings.
I hope you enjoy what I have prepared for you…
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!!!!
Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Stacks
Yield: 6 (4×4 in) heart shaped brownies or 9 squares
Segment: From My Table To Yours
For the batter
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken up
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 box chewy brownie mix (follow instructions on the box)
Heat oven to 325º F (163º C). Butter and flour 6 (4 x 4 inches or 10 x 10 cm) heart shaped baking pans or a 9 x 9 x 2-inch (23 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan.
Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Place butter and chocolate in a large glass bowl. Microwave in three 30-second increments, stirring well until smooth and homogeneous.
Whisk in sugar and flour mixture; then, eggs and vanilla. Spread into prepared pan(s).
Bake at 325º F (163º C) for about 27 minutes (heart-shaped baking pans) or 35 minutes ( 9x9x2-inch or 23x23x5-cm baking pan), or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan (s) and let cool completely on a rack.
With a serrated knife, slice in half horizontally. Line pan(s) with plastic wrap and insert top layer, cut side up, in pan. Reserve the other half/halves.
For the filling
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup raspberry preserves (if you prefer, you can substitute strawberry preserves)
4 drips of red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
Heart-shaped marshmallows to decorate
Homemade chocolate sauce or store-bought
Homemade raspberry sauce (recipe follows) or store-bought
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, raspberry preserves, and the red food coloring. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water in a small glass bowl and let stand approximately 5 minutes. Microwave 15 to 20 seconds until dissolved. Beat into cream cheese mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup of the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold into cream cheese mixture and spread onto brownie layer in pan. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Remove from the fridge and top with remaining brownie layer, cut side down.
Use plastic to lift stacked brownie from pan. With serrated knife, cut into 9 squares (if a 9 x 9 x 2 in pan was used). Top each square or heart with one marshmallow each, decorate with fresh raspberries, some of both raspberry and chocolate sauces. Serve immediately.
For the homemade raspberry sauce
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (you can substitute fresh or frozen strawberries)
1/4 cup confectionary sugar
3/4 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Place the berries, sugar, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes or until the fruits are soft. Stir in the lemon juice, remove from heat, and cool slightly.
Purée in a blender or food processor; then, strain through a sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a ladle or spoon. Refrigerate.
Note: Both the chocolate brownie batter and its filling recipe were adapted from Chocolate Caramel Brownie Stacks from Family Circle Magazine – January 2013 edition.