These brownie hearts make a romantic Valentine’s Day dessert when served with
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups whole California Strawberries,
fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the brownies, preheat oven to 325 degrees F and spray eight 2 1/2-inch
heart-shaped molds with nonstick spray; place molds on a baking sheet.
Place melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and
stir the mixture until combined – the texture will appear granular at this point.
Stir in vanilla extract and egg until the batter is thick and shiny. Add the flour and
stir until completely incorporated, then beat briskly for 40 more strokes.
Divide batter evenly among prepared molds; smooth with an offset spatula.
Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out slightly moist with batter.
Cool brownies in molds on a wire rack for 2 minutes; remove from molds to
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place white chocolate in a double
boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly
melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth.
Dip a corner of each brownie heart in white chocolate, tapping gently against
bowl to remove excess chocolate.
Place hearts on prepared baking sheet; chill in the refrigerator for 15
minutes to set chocolate.
For the strawberry compote, combine strawberries and sugar in a saucepan
over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce
heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl; whisk in cornstarch. Add
to strawberry mixture and continue cooking until thickened, 1 or 2 minutes.
Remove fruit mixture from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Place compote in a small bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve dessert, place a spoonful of strawberry compote in the
center of each plate and top with brownie heart. Garnish with fresh mint.
Yield: 8 brownie hearts
Recipe and photo credit: California Strawberry Commission.