You've Gotta Have Heart

 Salted Fudge Brownies

Salted Fudge Brownies

I realize I haven’t written a blog for Sal del Mar since November (actually Thanksgiving) and here it is February ... almost Valentine’s Day. I sat at my computer almost every morning trying to decide where I should start. I’d think about grand ideas of something to make in the kitchen and and even visualize how I would stylize it,  but then I would think about other things to do and off I’d go to the market or to make a phone call.  I just kept putting it off. I’m pretty sure that I was suffering from some type of writing block.

Then several days ago I received an email from my friend and foodie, Vivian Bennett, who sent me her recipe for Salted Fudge Brownies.   I have sampled her delectable candies and pastries and also know her talent for the artistic ways she presents them (she has some of Martha in her.)  Because I am in Mexico and she is in Tucson, I re-made her recipe and photographed it. And voila, I have a blog!

I’ve missed writing and photographing and now have broken the writers block (or whatever it was).

Thanks Vivian!  And let’s collaborate more.

Salted Fudge Brownies

By Vivian Bennett (adapted from Food & Wine/Kate Krader)

“They are a fudgey, sweet-salty brownie.  The sea salt is recommended because it is less harsh and melts so nicely into the batter, accentuating the chocolatey sweetness.  I cut them into little hearts for a sweet Valentines Day surprise.”

1  ½ sticks unsalted butter

2 ounces bitter chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

3 large eggs

1  ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Sal Del Mar sea salt or more to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges.  Lightly butter the foil.

2.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the bitter chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugars, eggs, vanilla and flour.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter.  Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.

3.  Bake the fudge brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter.  Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan.  Cut into hearts if desired or refrigerate until firm, about one hour then lift the brownies and cut into 16 squares.  Serve at room temperature.

Make ahead  The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to one month.