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How do I love thee? Let me count the brownies…

It is a well known fact that I am a chocoholic, so it should come as no surprise that I love Valentine’s Day. I always appreciate gifts of chocolate, but even more so on this day dedicated to displays of sweet affection. These brownies are  incredibly delicious and decadent as well as super easy to make. Cut them into smaller squares or heart shapes and package them up in a cellophane bag with a ribbon for a pretty Valentine’s gift. Or treat your loved ones to a special dessert by serving on a plate in either square or heart shape and garnish with raspberry coulis. However you serve these, they will be sure to send a message of love. Be sure NOT to overcook – you want them slightly wobbly and moist for ultimate yumminess.

Makes about 20 squares

  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz (225 g) pure 70% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) espresso powder or 1 Tbsp (15 mL) strong coffee
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour an 9×9” baking pan. In a saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Set aside to cool. In another bowl mix the eggs and sugar together being sure not to mix too much air into the mixture. Add the vanilla, espresso powder (or strong coffee), and sea salt. Slowly add the chocolate and butter combination to the sugar and eggs, mixing all the while but again, do not whip too much air in as you want the brownies to be rich and dense. Mix the flour in to the chocolate mix and pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until just set in the middle and slightly dry around edges only (do not overbake). Let cool completely. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Cut into 2-inch (2.5 cm) squares or use a heart shaped cookie cutter for an extra special Valentines Day presentation.

Lisa - February 24, 2012 - 5:01 pm

Your crackers are amazing!! I buy them every week at Whole foods and they disappear quickly. Please tell us when your new cookies will be available in the U.S.,hurry!!!

Nothing says, “I love you” more than home-made marshmallows! Definitely a labour of love, but easier than you might think, these delicate pink confections are the perfect gift for this Valentine’s Day. Lightly tinted with pure raspberries and softly flavoured with passionfruit, they are pure perfection for the sweet lover on your list. And once you make these, you’ll never reach for the store-bought version again. Package them up with a pretty ribbon or serve in a cup of sweet hot chocolate and you’ll be sure to have that special someone asking, “Will you be mine?”

Makes 12 large marshmallows

  • 3 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1Tb raspberry puree
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups white corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup passionfruit juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dredging

Line a 9×9 pan with foil and sprinkle heavily with icing sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and raspberry puree. Soak for 15 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup passionfruit juice in a small saucepan on med. High heat until the sugar dissolves, bring to a boil until the syrup reach 240 250 degrees about 5mins. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 10 -12 minutes. Scrape into the 9 x 9-inch pan and spread evenly.

Let mixture sit over night. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors or cookie cutters (dip cutters in confection sugar first for an easier cut). Sprinkle each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar.

Nicole - February 13, 2012 - 7:57 am

I am really enjoying all of the recipes!

Tomatoes are at their best straight from the field or your garden, still warm and packed with flavour and juice that pours down your chin when you bite into that first tomato sandwich of summer. For the rest of the year, we have to find a substitute. Unlike other varieties, Italian plum tomatoes are canned in season, capturing that flavour with less water and more flesh. Try to use the San Marzano variety if you can find it.

 

 

 

Makes 1 quart (1 L)

  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger root
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • yogurt (optional)

Strain the seeds from the tomatoes by pressing the pulp through a fine sieve. In a blender, combine the tomato pulp, orange juice and ginger; blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, or refrigerate to serve chilled. Garnish with a spoonful of yogurt, if desired.

 

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