The Season of Love

Do you want to please your boyfriend or girlfriend? Here comes the chance! It can cause a huge trouble when it comes to St. Valentine’s Day. Gifts are often on the list. This week’s blog post is going to provide some ideas for you. We are going to learn a simple way to bake some delicious chocolate brownies!

Ingredients:

Gold Medal’s All purpose self-raising flour 70 grams

Kirkland’s Walnuts (raw)  30 pieces

PoundPlus Dark Chocolate    250 grams

Butter  113 grams

2 Eggs

Sugar 100 grams

Baking Power 1/2 teaspoon

Procedure:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Boil water in a pan or pot to approximately 122-140 Degrees Fahrenheit (50-60 Degrees Celsius). Place 3×6 cubes of chocolate into a metal mixing bowl and let it stay still to melt. (Yes, this is a water bath for the chocolate.)

Tip: The moderate temperature allows chocolate to melt smoothly without getting any crumbs. High temperature is likely to cause the chocolate ends up in glue texture. I do not recommend to use microwave because it dries up the chocolate easily.

3) Use a spatulas or plastic spoon to stir lightly and let it stay aside.

4) Sieve flour and baking power for once or twice. This helps to smoothen the batter.

5) Place the butter in a bowl and microwave it to liquid form. Mine took for one minute and 15 seconds.

6) Pour the liquid butter and chocolate into a lage mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix the ingredients. Follow up by adding sugar into the batter and mix the ingredients evenly.

7) Crack the 2 eggs into the batter and continue to turn the electric mixer to moderate speed. Mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until all materials are mixed evenly. As long as everything turns into brown color, then you may proceed to the next step.

8) Pour the sieve flour and baking powder into the chocolate batter and mix it with a silicone spatulas (mine is blue in color on the right). Add the diced walnuts into the batter and mix it gently.

Tip: If the batter is too dry (chocolate can’t cover all the flour), you may add a quarter cup of milk or cream to smoothen the texture.

9) Spread a thin layer of butter onto a baking pan or other bakeware before pouring the batter. This prevents the brownies to stick after baking. For the baking utensil, I folded a rectangular shape mold with parchment paper (baking paper), which eases the cutting procedure later on. Moreover, it simplifies the washing procedure after the brownies are cooked.

10) Pour the batter into the bakeware or mold. Smooth the surface by using a spatulas.

11)  Place the pan into the oven for 25-30 minutes. Recommend to set a timer, which acts as a reminder.

Meanwhile, let us learn a little history about St. Valentine’s Day. We have to trace back the origin of this celebration to ancient Rome period. Valentine’s Day was named after a preist named Valentine, who served during the third century in Rome. There were Catholic and Protestant versions for the story. Both of them agreed on Valentine performed marriage ceremonies for young couples secretly.  It indicated he disobey the Emperor, Claudius II’s order was put to death. Another version was he developed a deep friendship with a jailor, Asterius’s dauhter, who was blind and healed by Valentine’s saint power during his sentence in prison. Before he was executed, he wrote a farewell message to Asterius’s daughter and signed “From Your Valentine”. The phrase is still in use till now. It was believed that the execution took on February 14, 270 AD. Young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. Due to Christianity, Valentine became its Patron Saint and the day came to be known as St. Valentine’s Day.  Although this might not be the exact origin, the passion of love from St. Valentine is what people should remember from him. In nowadays, different celebrations are carried across worldwide. Restaurants and shops take the opportunities to promote couple sets meals or clothing lines in order to gain profit for business. Beep, beep beep…Oh..It’s the timer!

12) After the timer rings, take out the brownies and use a toothpick or metal utensil to check if it is ready or not. If the batter slightly sticks, that means it is ready.

13)Turn off the oven. Remove the baking pan and place the brownies onto a surface to cool down for 10-15 minutes.

14) Cut the brownies into your desire size. Your brownies are ready to serve~

If you want something more fancy, try the following steps 😉

15) Take one 3×6 chocolate chunk and follow step 2 to get melted chocolate sauce.

16) Apply the chocolate sauce onto a piece of browny and sprinkle the diced walnuts on the top surface.

Here comes the Deluxe Version Brownies!!

Questions:

1)  How long does it take to make these delicious brownies?

Approximately 20 minutes to prepare the batter.

The baking was around 30 minutes.

Cool off, cutting and deluxe version was about 20 minutes

That means the total time used is less than 90 minutes!

2) Where to buy the ingredients?

I bought the eggs, butter and chocolate from Trader Joe’s!  The walnuts was from Costco and the flour should be from Walmart or Vons. If the above stores mentioned were not located nearby your neighbor, just head off to Ralphs, Whole Foods Market, Bristol Farms or other grocery stores. I am sure you will be able to find the whole list easily!

3) Storage?

Keep them in a cool place. You may store it in the fridge. Recommend to finish them in three to four days.

4) Health Issues

If you are allergic to nuts, please omit it and do not add into the batter.

Since I did not use any exact size pan, after cutting the brownies, there were about 4o pieces excluding the edges. I recommend to use rectangular or square baking pans as it is easier to serve.For chocolate, I used dark chocolate as I am not a huge fan of sweetness, feel free to use milk chocolate if you want to increase the sweetness. If you want more details for brownies, check out The History of Brownies. They mention its origin and explains some tips such as types of brownies and storage.

Valentine’s Day is approaching in a week. Any dating plans coming up? No matter you are in a relationship or not, this is a perfect time to treat yourself and friends with some simple handmade goods! It is time be a valentine to spread love with some fun! 😉

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One Response to The Season of Love

  1. Briget says:

    Good job on adding all the links to your blog to direct the reader to valuable resources. Also, thanks for bringing in the brownies to class the other day, they’re were delicious!

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