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Strawberry Brownies with Dark Chocolate Ganache


How was your Valentine's Day, friends?  Hopefully it was filled with lots of love (and chocolate!).  We have a tradition of this homemade spaghetti on V-Day (for at least 14 years running), and I usually whip up some sort of chocolatey dessert to go with it.

This year, these dark chocolate brownies with strawberries and a dark chocolate ganache made a beautifully decadent dessert.  These are basically chocolate covered strawberries in brownie form, and are rich with a perfectly dense, fudgy brownie.
Don't wait for a special occasion to make them, though.  Whether it's Valentine's Day or some random day in the middle of winter, these make an equally wonderful indulgence!

Strawberry Brownies with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from:  Southern Living

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted butter
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (about 15 oz.), divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 quart fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. 

Stir together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.

Place eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.  With paddle attachment, beat on high speed until pale and thick, about 1 minute (hand mixers work equally fine here).

Melt butter either in the microwave, or in a small saucepan on the stove top over medium heat.  Once melted, remove from heat and add 1 cup of the chocolate chips to the melted butter.  Stir until chocolate is melted. Add to egg mixture; stir until combined. Add flour mixture next; stir until combined. 

Spoon mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking pan (mixture will be thick). Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs and tops are set, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until it JUST begins to boil.  Remove from heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips; whisk until chocolate is melted.

Arrange strawberries, cut sides down, on top of cooled brownies in pan. Pour chocolate ganache over strawberries, spreading it to smoothly cover all strawberries. Place brownies in freezer; let chill until ganache is firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Using parchment overhang as handles, lift and remove brownies from pan. Carefully run hot water over a knife; wipe knife dry. While knife is still hot, cut brownies evenly into 12 squares. (Reheat knife with hot water as needed.) Let brownies come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve.


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