These brownies are my entry for February's Dessert Wars. The Theme this month is dark chocolate and hearts. During my travels in the past months, I picked up this folk heart brownie cutter.
It did the trick perfectly.
I do admit, however, that these are some cheatin' sugar roses. I just used cherry fruit slices candy to make them. One of these days I want to take a course in making fabulous gorgeous gum paste flowers. Until then I guess I will have to stick to the candy aisle. How ghetto of me.
After cutting out the brownies, I could have left it at that or maybe frosted the brownies pink but because I am powerless over my addiction for embellishing things, I went with these cherry candy sugar roses and green fondant leaves.
In December my Gingerbread Camels won runner up in a holiday baking contest over at Baking Bites. Nicole sent me a wonderful prize package that included a fabulous cupcake patterned apron that has great coverage and many items I could not get in Germany, butterscotch chips among them. The package also included these dark chocolate wafers.
I broke them out to use for these brownies. I also just realized it's probably tacky to showcase something I won an another baking contest for another baking contest. Sorry! One day I promise I'll get the hang of this blogging thing.
Folk Heart Brownies With Sugar Candy Roses
For the Brownies:
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped into very small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 9X12 inch pan with baking paper and grease the sides.
- Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, salt, and espresso powder and set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar until fluffy (3 minutes.)
- Add eggs one at a time until combined.
- Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat until combined.
- Add chopped chocolate and mix them through.
- Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting.
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- 1+ 1/2 cups dark chocolate chopped
- 1 + 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Bring the cream and butter to a boil.
- Pour over the chocolate and whisk until combined.
- Spread over uncut pan of brownies.
- Place pan in the refrigerator while you make the roses.
For the Roses:
- Cherry or fruit slices, gummy in texture.
- Take one piece of candy at a time and using a rolling pin flatten the candy on your work surface.
- Cut the flattened candy in two pieces lengthwise.
- One piece at a time, cut side down, roll one corner tightly and wind the rest of the strip around squeezing the bottom part together.
For the Leaves:
I made mine out of fondant because I always have some lying around. You can make yours out of store bought, pre colored fondant or improvise maybe cutting up some spearmint leaves or other green sugared gummy candies.
I colored some fondant green using Wilton's Leaf Green gel food coloring, rolled it out and cut out leaf shapes. Then I scored each leave one down the middle and up and down the sides to make it look more leaf-like.
Here is a recipe for marshmallow fondant. It makes way more than you need. You can store it for a loooong time or reduce the recipe.
- 1/2 bag (1/2 pound) marshmallows (minis melt easier but you can use regular sized ones as well.)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 pound of powdered sugar
- Crisco or shortening
- plastic wrap or cling film
- Cover the inside of a heat safe bowl and a wooden spoon with Crisco or shortening.
- Place marshmallows and water in the bowl.
- Microwave the marshmallows for 30 seconds at a time stirring the mixture in between with the wooden spoon.
- When the mixture is the consistency of Marshmallow Fluff, stir in 3/4 of the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
- Cover your work surface with powdered sugar and cover your hands with Crisco or shortening.
- Dump the fondant on the sugared surface and knead the rest of the sugar in.
- Separate the fondant into different parts and color as desired. When coloring, add a bit of gel color at a time with a toothpick and knead in until the color is evenly distributed and you get the color you want.
- Wrap each piece in plastic wrap until you use it.
- Wrap leftover fondant tightly in plastic cling film and store in a zip lock bag.
- Remove pan of brownies from the fridge.
- Grease your cutter and cut out the shapes.
- Place two leaves on top of each brownie and with your fingers twist and curl them a bit.
- Place a candy rose in the center.