Saturday, February 9, 2019

Valentine's Brownie Kit

Are you looking for an easy way to celebrate Valentine's Day but you don't just want to rely on picking up a box of chocolates or a card? We have an answer for you!

We love our international readers and those brands who have sent use their creations from around the world. But the bulk of our readers are from English speaking countries and of those, most are in the United States according to our analytics. When The Chocolate Cult can, we like to support our community by bringing you the chocolatey creations from our state (Indiana), from our county (Monroe), and from our city (Bloomington). When a local or state brand is willing to work with us, we make time to check them out. We've featured this brand back when it was called Peacetree Mountain Truffles but since then, Linda Armes's business has grown and is now called Bloomington Chocolate Company. I stopped by their shop that is shared by Olive Leaf, to pick up the Black Cherry Balsamic Brownie Kit. We were given this item for free in exchange for our fair and honest review of it today; not other form of compensation was received.

This flavor of the Olive Leaf Balsamic Brownie Kit is only available now, before Valentine's Day. There are other varieties of this kit that maybe we'll get to try in the future or that you could buy. The kit includes the brownie kit of dry ingredients, the balsamic, and a disposable pan to bake it in. I note that the pan has a loaf shape to it not the traditional 8X8 or 9X9 square pan I normally see with brownies. You add 1/4 cup oil and 1 egg to the ingredients in the kit to make the brownies. It takes less than five minutes to mix everything together.




Once you use 1.5 T of the balsamic, you'll at last twice that amount leftover to use in other ways so this is more than the gift of brownies for a couple of meals if you also give your loved one the bottle. I only got a vinegar scent from this after I opened it and poured, no cherry so I was a bit worried.






The direction card that came with the kit says it should take 30 minutes to bake the brownies. Between this testing, another recipe testing, and a couple of dinners, I became aware that my oven's thermostat must wearing out AGAIN. I had to bake mine a bit extra but that's on me, not the kit. Do not grease the loaf pan too much, it is make of a thick cardboard, however, too much oil can sink into and weaken the pan. Unfortunately greasing the pan means that I also can't recycle this pan any more because of recycling rules in my community. Personally speaking, even though it would add a bit to the cost, I'd prefer a foil type of pan that I could clean recycle or even reuse once or twice before it wore out. Remember: Earth is the only planet we know about where cocoa trees can be grown and they only grow in a limited area on this world so do your part to protect it all or we may not have chocolate in the future.

I let the brownies cool on a wire rack for minutes. I found that the sides of the pan torn open easily. I did that as the direction card suggested and took out the brownies.


Then I used a sharp knife to cut the loaf into six pieces because there are three people in my household. The directions didn't say how big or small to make the slices. The side are a bit too firm but the inside was very fudgy even though the brownies had only pulled away from the sides of the pan and the toothpick test worked right before I took them out of the oven. You can see some of the chocolate pieces inside the brownie. Looks yummy, yes?


One way the directions suggest to enjoy it is with whipped cream on the top drizzled with the black cherry balsamic. Because I test all these products for you, dear Sisters and Brothers in Chocolate, I did give that a try with my own slice but my family was afraid even after we tasted a bit of the balsamic on a fingertip. The brownie itself was wonderfully chocolate and fudgy, thick, with the crispy outside and top, with a slight cherry flavor. Paired with the whipped cream it was delicious, too. Adding the balsamic increased the cherry flavor but I could still taste the vinegar. I think I'd rather save the vinegar for other cooking that I want a cherry flavor and not put it on like a condiment. That's a personal preference, it wasn't bad, just not as good as the slice with plain whipped cream.


I liked this Black Cherry Balsamic Brownie Kit and I think it would be a wonderful gift for anyone who has expanded their palate to include flavored and gourmet vinegars. It is also a nice way to present possibilities to someone open to that idea. The brownies themselves earn Sacrament Status for their quality of chocolate flavor; the kit gets high marks for ease of directions and the including the ingredients. If you live in Monroe County in Indiana, stop by the Olive Leaf and ask about this brownie kit. Follow our links to learn the shop's information and give them a call to make sure the flavor will be available because you cannot order this Valentine's flavor online.

2 comments:

Emilie Johnson said...

This is really an interesting idea. Usually, I find brownies made from a mix to be disappointing and not nearly chocolatey enough.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

The chocolate was good here. Of course, I'll often add chocolate or get the mixes with extra chocolate in them.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Emilie.

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