Brown, dark and delicious…

This post is a little late because these brownies are what I made on Valentine’s Day but nevertheless, I wanted to write about it before the strawberries were out of season. I’m no Valentine’s Day grinch, especially since I’ve decided to celebrate the small things in life now, but heart-shaped balloons, red roses and candy isn’t for me. Anyway, I’m not going to get into a long story on all that; instead what I wanted to tell you about are these brownies that I made for Valentine’s Day this time.

I’ve been wanting to make these one-bowl brownies that I saw on Smitten Kitchen but I just never found an occasion that would be appropriate! So on Valentine’s Day this year, I was at working doing what I normally do, and suddenly mid-way through a busy day I saw bunches of flowers at various desks, people dressed in red and a whole lot of them just making plans. Around two hours before we actually wind up for the day I looked around and saw that most desks were empty! A colleague who was on the way told me, “Don’t sit here, go out and celebrate!” Now I had planned to make something special for the husband but I hadn’t included dessert in my menu. The pieces of the puzzle fell in place and the stars were aligned in may favour – it was brownie  time!

As I was walking back home from the station, there was a thought that kept coming back to me – how do I add a twist to this brownie recipe? I didn’t have walnuts at hand so I thought I’d substitute with almonds or cashew. I even debated about throwing in a peg of dark rum *wink*! But when I saw fresh strawberries in my fridge, I knew that it was time for one of the best combinations ever: Strawberries and dark chocolate!

Such beauties!

Dark chocolate and strawberry brownies
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2/3 cup of all-purpose flour (maida)
85 gms of dark chocolate, chopped
100gms of butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp of salt
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar (you can increase the quantity if you like the brownies sweet, but I wanted the dark chocolate to shine so I reduced the amount of sugar)
3/4 cup of strawberries, chopped

Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once you have a smooth mixture, take it off the heat.

Wait for a minute and then add the sugar to the mixture, mix well and add the eggs and vanilla essence. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved and you get a smooth, shiny mixture.

Now sift the flour and salt over this and fold it in. Don’t over-beat the mixture. When all the flour has been incorporated into the mixture, add the strawberries and fold again. Next, pour it into a greased baking tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the tray comes out clean.

* The dark chocolate that I used for this recipe was flavoured with some orange, so we had that lovely citrusy hint to the brownies. You can add fresh orange zest or essence if you like.

* For a good brownies, it is essential that all your ingredients are at room temperature. So prepare a little in advance if need be.

* These brownies are really simple to make, it took me less than half hour to prep and mix it all together. I’d love to try these plain the next time, maybe with some nuts too and yes, some rum in the batter as well!

I’m sending this recipe to two events in the Blogosphere, one is Let’s Cook for Kids at Simply food and the other is Kid’s Delight at Sumee’s Culinary Bites

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