May 09, 2011

Where Is the Love? Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Brownies

Just like the Black Eyed Peas in 2003, people got me, got me questioning, where is the love?  Cause I am not feeling it lately.  You know those times when it feels as though the universe if conspiring against you?  And things just seem to be going awry?  That’s pretty much my life right now.  My roommate, Diesel, has decided to sell the condo, which means for the past two weeks, potential buyers have been parading through my living space with possible intentions of taking it away from me.  I eye each person with wariness, silently pleading for them not to make me go through the awful ordeal of trying to find another place to live.  I may not love living with Diesel, but the rent is cheap, the amenities are good, the location is where I want to be and above all else, moving is a pain in the ass and I don’t want to do it!  People have tried to tell me that I don’t have to worry about finding a place too quickly because he needs to give me proper notice before kicking me out.  But then I remind them that I don’t have a lease and I pay rent month to month, in cash.  It’s both a positive and negative aspect of living here.

As if the threat of soon being homeless wasn’t bad enough, I have to put up with all the condo gawkers coming to see the place on a daily basis.  At first Diesel just told me people would be coming randomly for showings but after a few surprise knocks at the door, (not cool when I’m in the shower) I informed him that he needed to be more specific about when viewers would be arriving.  So now I get sporadic texts that say things like “maybe ppl coming 6-7 and 9-10”.   Between 9pm and 10pm on a Tuesday?  Seriously?  I get up at 6am, I want to be in my pajamas, lounging around at 10pm, I don’t want to have to look presentable for when strangers tramp through my bedroom.  This does not make me happy.  Coupled with a myriad of other life disasters lately, I am definitely not feeling like the universe loves me.

But when all else fails, find the love in brownies.  More specifically, Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Brownies.  I took a basic brownie recipe and stirred in some balsamic roasted strawberries like I use in my favourite ice cream.  Once the brownies have completely cooled, use a cookie cutter to turn them into hearts for extra love. 

Best Cocoa Brownies (via Smitten Kitchen as she adapted them from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet)

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces, 280 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces, 82 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional- or Balsamic Roasted Strawberries, like I used)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.


K and S said...

hope you won't have to move. these brownies look great!

Ceren said...

I know you never comment back but..hope you're alright, I missed your posts!

ChichaJo said...

Hope things get better soon...maybe you will find an even better place, with a better room mate! Meanwhile, yes, let's feast on these amazing sounding brownies!

Brilynn said...

Kydoime- I read and appreciate every comment, thanks for stopping by!

The search for a better place continues...

Notcathy said...

I am a chocoholic, I'll surely give it a try.. Thanks for sharing and keep same always..

WeLoveChicken said...

It looks just lovely.