It's dear hubby's birthday today and what a better way to celebrate it than have the entire world of Chinese people having a grand party for you! It's reunion night. So I thought it'd be great to make him a cake. I didn't want to do anything too elaborate so I had to rack my brains to come up with something simple to do yet something he likes. My initial plan was to do this. However, it sounded like a lot of work so I shelved it yet again. I browsed the web for a brownie recipe as I am not exactly pleased with the ones I have tried before. I needed a ganache as well and I found them both here. Where better to find them than at a site maintained by the people who make chocolate, right? ;) The result is that I would omit the chocolate chips required in the recipe as it made the brownie too sweet. The brownie base itself is good on its own. I have copied the recipe and saved it here in case it should go missing from the site one day.
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted and divided
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips(I would omit)
- CHOCOLATE GANACHE(recipe follows)
- Fresh strawberries(optional)
2. Stir together cocoa and baking soda in large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter. Add boiling water, stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter, stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla and salt; blend completely. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
4. Prepare CHOCOLATE GANACHE. Pour over brownies. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into 3-inch squares; cut squares diagonally in half to form a triangle shape. Garnish with fresh strawberry, if desired. Makes 12 brownies.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Place 2 cups (12-oz. package) HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and 1 cup whipping cream in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Makes about 2 cups ganache.
Note - I found that it took more than an hour for ganache to harden. I had used parchment paper to line the tin and when I tried to remove it, the brownie broke into 2 right in the middle. Thankfully and skilfully, I patched it back by spreading the ganache over to cover the crack.
I used tiny hearts to decorate the words and this was done stealthily while hubby was in the bedroom. A real race against time but I did it! The result is beautiful. He never suspected a thing. He only saw the brownie undecorated and asked about it. I just said it was dessert for tonight. ;P
The little hearts decorating it were 'donated' by the princess who had been given these packets of Cinnamoroll cereal which provided the perfect shape. So it was actually a birthday cum Valentine's Day cake. ;) We served it with melted chocolate (ran out of vanilla) ice-cream (melted on the way there) and a piece of strawberry each. Strawberries were very fresh, I got them at NTUC and went back for more as they were really good. They were selling them at $2.85 per punnet.
I have indeed been blessed with a wonderful hubby, one who has no vices (except if you consider spending too much time in front of the pc). He likes the occasional beer though. He is touched by the little things that you do for him, such as a surprise cake, and birthday presents (which he doesn't expect). :P He is 'popular' (not sure if it's for the wrong reason) with everyone and is always the 'go to' guy where electronics or computer-related stuff are involved and the minute his face appears anywhere, it's like oh, tech support guy is here. He gets along very well with his father-in-law and they talk about nothing but soccer, Apple (the company not the fruit), F1, computers, etc etc. In fact, I think my father talks to him more than he does to me. *googly eyes*
I wish that as he grows a year older today, that he starts to mellow down and have more patience. That is one thing about him that irks me - impatience. I also wish that he will spend more time with us, his family, rather than face some lifeless screen most of the time.
Lastly, I wish that he will get his dream come true soon, in the form of a bicycle whose shipment has been delayed time and again. Hope that he gets it in the next few weeks. I know that he has been waiting impatiently but there's nothing we can do about it. :(
Cheers to good health, darling, and all the best in everything you do, as well as in your career.
We love you.