Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sweetheart Brownies

Today we return to test and modify a recipe from TCHO this time using their 66% Dark Chocolate Discs, strawberries, and cinnamon along with some of the Equal Exchange hearts we reviewed earlier this Valentine's Day season.  I'm doing this for Foodie Blogroll 1,2,3 Cook and Snap Recipe Contest!  So today's post covers a lot of ground in terms of products I'm testing, organization we are a member of, and reusing previously revealed products.  I started with this recipe for Turtle Brownies because it uses the dark chocolate discs.

I tried to think of several ways I could approach testing the discs and making a recipe that used chocolate, strawberries, and cinnamon.  Brownies are easy to make into several treats and I have a 5-heart pan that I could put them in to create individual servings.  I wanted to incorporate the strawberries beyond decoration but I didn't to buy too many strawberries at the same time because my picky family won't help me eat the extra. So my first step was to find some natural strawberry preserves and my normal grocery store happened to have a sale.  I'm using the preserves in place of oil or butter in the recipe making less fatty brownies but also hopefully spreading the strawberry flavor throughout.

Let's see how my idea worked, shall we?

Sweetheart Brownies by TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

Ingredients:

1.75 cups whole grain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

8oz TCHO 66% Dark Chocolate Discs
17.25oz strawberry spread (you'll need to adjust calories if you use another type of fruit spread)

1 cup egg substitute OR 4 large eggs (you'll need to adjust calories if you use eggs)

Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 350°F and grease/flour pan you will use.  The size of pan you use will determine the amount of time you need to back.  I used this 5-piece heart shaped pan (Valentine's Day) so my time is based on that. I also use a non-sticking baking spray that has flour mixed into the spray which allows me to quickly clean and reuse the pan for multiple bakings.

2) Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

3) Beat together eggs and strawberry spread until as smooth as you can get it; it will still be a bit lumpy if you use spread that has real strawberry pieces in it.

4) Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for one minute.  Stir.  Return to microwave for one minute then stir until smooth.

5) Pour chocolate into strawberry/egg mixture and beat until smooth.

6) Add in the flour mixture a bit at a time and blend in thoroughly.  The batter will be very thick.

7)  Spoon batter into your pan and then place in oven for 25 minutes.  If you use a regular cake pan, 7 X 11, it will take about 35 minutes.

8) Take out of oven and cool pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

9) Be gentle and turn out the brownies onto another wire rack to finish cooling while you make the next batch.

Total number of heart shaped brownies = 14-15 (Yes, you see only 13 in the photo because we tested one from the first batch to make sure the recipe was a success)

These are very thick, fudgy brownies with very well-blended strawberry and chocolate flavor with a touch of cinnamon.  Alone they are good but you can dress them up as you saw in the first photo with some whipped cream, chocolate curls (from Kane Kandy), and a chocolate heart (from Equal Exchange).  Or if you want to save a few calories you could also just sprinkle more cinnamon on top or on the whipped cream or any combination of anything you can think of, even another strawberry though frankly these do not need them.

There you have it, the TCHO 66% Dark Chocolate Discs used to make treats for Valentine celebrations 2014.  This is certified organic and fair trade made only of cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla beans, this is the real deal chocolate.  It melted perfectly, it blended perfectly, and it stood out against so much strawberry sweetness and the cinnamon kick that I have to say this Sacrament Worthy for your baking and candy making needs.

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