Monday, February 27, 2012

Brownie Strawberry Trifle

For this month's What's Baking challenge hosted by Sandra from She Cooks and Bakes, we were challenged to make something with Valentine's Colors, of course, because it's February. February is the all about love in our house because it's also the month of our anniversary! So I loved this theme! Unfortunately, I had high ambitions for making cupcakes that mimicked our wedding cake and they were a fail. A tasty fail though. The cupcakes baked with an air pocket in the middle and the bottoms were a bit stuck. So we ate them with forks. I guess we will put that on a try again another time list.

Since the cupcakes were a fail, I went with a something different that I knew to be a tried and true recipe. The baker's chocolate brownie recipe. I've used it many times before and it has always turns out well. It was used for these mini brownies previously and they were yummy! I added some fresh whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate to turn those brownies into a cute Valentine's trifle. This could either make one large trifle or a bunch of individual trifles. I opted for individual, because I love all things cute, small, and personal sized. Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!

4 squares unsweetened Chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pint strawberries
1 bag heart shaped marshmallows
6 oz dark chocolate
1 oz white chocolate (for drizzling)

1. Start by making brownies first. Melt the chocolate squares and butter in medium sized bowl in the microwave for about two minutes or until melted. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl and add in sugar. Beat to incorporate.

3. Add in eggs and vanilla on low. Mix in flour and nuts until well blended.

4. Grease a foil lined 13" x 9" pan and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool. Remove and cut into chunks.

5. To make the whipped cream, start by placing your mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes. Then add cold heavy cream to your chilled bowl. Whip the cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken.

6. Add in confectioner's sugar and vanilla while continuing to beat on medium. Keep whipping until soft peaks forms. Reserve a handful of strawberries with the pointiest shape. Slice the rest of the strawberries lengthwise.

7. In your cup or trifle bowl, make a base of brownie chunks. Then add a dollop of whipped cream. Next, sprinkle strawberry slices on trifle, placing some slices flat against the bowl's side for appearance. Now add another dollop of whipped cream, with some heart shaped marshmallows placed against the side of the bowl.

8. Finish with a decorative strawberry heart *how to make chocolate strawberry hearts directions below*. Repeat layering in remaining trifle cups, about 15-20 depending on size of vessel.

9. To make a strawberry heart, take the reserved strawberries and cut in half lengthwise. Then make a v-cut in the top. Ta da two cute hearts from one strawberry!

10. Melt chocolate in microwave on 15 seconds intervals stirring repeatedly until melted.

11. Spoon chocolate onto one side of strawberries. Let set, then flip and spoon chocolate onto other side too. Microwave white chocolate in similar fashion and then drizzle over chocolate strawberry hearts. Let set and use for garnish.

Source: Kraft Recipes