Belated Valentines Post

Yes, I am not so socially inept that I do not know that Valentines Day was actually last week. But if you truly love someone (or something in my case :P), then you know one week makes no difference right?

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I would have made and posted these sooner, closer to the day of roses, velvet, love hearts and more, but the chocolates featured in this post weren’t delivered on time (delays happen) and then I was really busy and yadda, yadda, yadda (SEINFELD!) 😛

But what matters is that I am here now right?

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But more importantly what matters is, that this caramel goodness of heaven is here. 😉
A little more on that later on of course…

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Now, I don’t think I have ever actually talked about Valentines Day with you all… though I guess it is not that weird because honestly, I have never dated before so it kind of has never had to apply to me 😛 (Although with uni starting… things may change 😉 *nudge* )

In my limited, narrow experience, I have seen V-Day categorise our general population into three distinct groups of people. Let’s call them exhibit A and exhibit B and exhibit C.

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e-A: These people love Valentines Day because of what it represents. They are a sucker for hearts, the crimson colour adorning our streets, and simply are in love with the idea of love. To them, V-Day is a holiday to celebrate how gorgeous love is, and how cheesy it makes everyone act and how special it makes everyone feel.

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I suppose these people can be dating people during valentines day as well as not be, it doesn’t necessarily matter. Regardless, these guys go around giving Valentines day wishes to all their friends, and in general, have a really cheesy, rom-com filled, full-of-roses kind of day. I like these people, they are all fun 😀

e-B: These are the haters.

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And when I say haters, I mean, they are overly logical, believing V-Day to be nonsensical commercial rubbish aimed at e-A people, or e-C people in hopes of gaining a nice big income. Want 10 roses? That will be $500.

Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a little but you get my gist no? They believe in loving their special someone all the time equally, not taking one day out of 365.25 days and making it extra special.

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Despite not agreeing with such a cynical POV, I can’t say I don’t not see their logic in thinking this way. In a very robotic kind of way, it does make sense. Quite Sheldon-esque actually.

e-C: These are the prowlers.

Some people hit V-Day really hard. Being single means there is pressure them, extra pressure from some unknown source, forcing them to go out of their way to

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  1. Tell people V-Day is a ridiculous day and pretend to be part of e-B, so they are justifying their lack of social activity
  2. Go out, be loud and try to find someone for the sake of being with someone on V-Day

You want to know what I think? I think it is sooooo stupid!!! Haven’t you heard Beyonce sing ‘Single Ladies’??? We can change it to ‘Single Men’ if necessary (though it really does not have the same ring to it :P)
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I cannot fathom why anyone would be so outrightly desperate.

It feels like V-Day actually takes their charm, looks and personality, and stomps all over it, before picking up the remains to place in a bin. Ouch.

Like I said before though, this is all from observation… do you know anyone from the above categories? I am pretty sure I am e-A. I think V-Day is cute as cute can get :3

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You know why I think it is so adorably cute?

chocolate.

The amount of chocolate that is given, received and put on sale boggles my mind. But it just makes me smile so hard 😀

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I was lucky enough to be back cooperating with BigLolly, whose Australia Day range I reviewed before. Only this time, I received a nice big package of chocolate hearts, wrapped in a gorgeous assortment of colours. This was their Valentines Day Choc Sweet Hearts packet 🙂

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The wrapping came of nice and easy, and I was pleasantly surprised to taste that the texture of the chocolate was so silky! Easily comparable to brands like Cadbury, these hearts melted on your tongue and had cute line grooves on it for extra shape!

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I easily gave these a solid 8.5/10!!

Now, chocolate is great, we established that. But it is even better when it is nestled in an edible cage of red velvety fudgy brownie (I under baked accidentally 😛 but with great results!).

But this cage also has molten swirls of homemade caramel throughout it. More sticky, more fun, more delicious.

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Maybe next Valentines Day you could try these Red Velvet Caramel Brownies? I guarantee, no one’s heart will be safe if you turn up with a batch of these babies 😉

Or maybe you don’t want to wait till next year… 😉 😉 *no judge*

Caramel Swirled Red Velvet Fudge Brownies

PRINTABLE RECIPE!

Brownies adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Homemade caramel adapted from: Mastering The Art of Baking & Bakers Royale

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 130g butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I had to use all caster because I did not have brown :P)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs liquid red food colouring
  • 3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
  • One pack of Valentines Day Choc Sweet Hearts
  • Icing mixture/sugar (optional)

Homemade Caramel:

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs cold water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 56g butter, cut up in chunks
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • 1/4 tsp fleur de sel (if you want salted caramel)

**keep all these ingredients right next to you, since caramel is a fast paced procedure**

Method:

Homemade Caramel:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves into the water (the mixture should be slightly grey and clear)
  2. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove sugar crystal clumps on the side (could cause crystallisation of your caramel later)
  3. Add in the lemon juice, stir through, and ensure the mixture is not simmering or close to boiling (it stops crystallisation without affecting flavour)
  4. Increase heat to med-high and bring the syrup to boil. Boil without stirring as it could cause crystallisation
  5. Keep washing down the sides of the pan occasionally with the brush, and swirl the saucepan occasionally from the handle gently, so the sugar does not stick to the bottom as all
  6. It will slowly begin to turn golden – this is a crucial moment!! Watch the syrup closely as it turns from light golden, to golden, to amber, to dark brown. You want it in-between amber and dark brown, the rich caramel colour (but the darker it is, the more intense the flavour – excluding burnt caramel of course)
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  7. As soon as it reaches the desired colour, immediately remove from the heat and pour in cream and add in butter, whisking continuously to combine the caramel sauce together. Since these ingredients are cold, the mixture may hiss and spit, so be careful. If it begins to seize, return to the heat till the sauce comes together.
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  8. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before adding in a sprinkling of salt (if using) and then store in a glass container in the fridge once it is room temperature. Reheat in the microwave or over the stove. – For the brownies, just leave the sauce out in the glass container, do not refrigerate unless making the brownies the next day (reheat the sauce before making the batter)
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Brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tin with baking paper
  2. Melt the butter in a large, microwave safe glass bowl
  3. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and food colouring into the mixture (one at a time but I don’t read instructions well :P)
  4. Whisk in the eggs till combined
  5. Add in the flour and fold in till the brownie batter forms
  6. Pour brownie batter into the lined tin
  7. If the caramel sauce has hardened after cooling, gently reheat till it ribbons off a spoon – drizzle throughout the batter

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  8. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few gooey crumbs (a touch under baked so more fudgy), or without anything on it at all
  9. Remove and place on a wire rack
  10. Immediately start placing the heart chocolates on it, spacing 5cm in-between each one
  11. Allow brownies to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 5-6 hours
  12. Take out of fridge and cut around the chocolate hearts using a slightly large heart-shaped cookie cutter (the gooeyness makes this a bit difficult so make sure they are nice and cold)
  13. Dust with icing sugar
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  14. Eat them all, then move on to the cut-offs 😀

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Disclaimer: Go Bake Yourself received this mix of jellybeans as a promotional sample from BigLolly.com but all the opinions written here are my own.

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63 Comments

  1. Geni says:

    These would make anyone’s V-day even better CCU! I am all over the red velvet with caramel. What a unique but delicious sounding combination. I can always count on you for creativity. PS-I am definitely in the A category. Much more fun. 🙂

  2. LouAnn says:

    I always love your posts–you have a great attitude and the pictures are to die for–as is the end result
    My take on Valentine’s Day is similar to yours–it should be cute and fun–and we should make people feel special–not just couples

  3. Kathleen Richardson says:

    OMG, this Valentines dessert looks so yummy, CCU. I’d start nibbling on the cutoffs immediately! I wonder if the heart shaped cookie-cutter would work better–less messy–if dipped in the powdered sugar before each cut.

  4. Hotly Spiced says:

    Turning chocolates into little heart brownies is an awesome idea. I’m sorry the package came late as these are so cute for VD but hey, I think you could give these out any day of the year xx

  5. Debra says:

    Wonderful recipe! I don’t want to wait an entire year. I think these would be fun for my granddaughters any time. The youngest one is already a chocoholic! 🙂 The caramel is a great addition, Uru. I think you have the right take on Valentines when you mention the different approaches and ways to look at it! ox

  6. Liz says:

    lol, I won’t even try to define myself (though I’m not b or c, so guess that leaves only one other option) but I have to say that I love YOU because you made caramel from scratch and drizzled it over brownies and then topped said brownies with chocolate truffle candies. Holy cow–who does that? You do, that’s who, and that’s why I heart you! Brilliance 😀

  7. Uru, your caramel turned out beautifully and your Valentine’s treats (never mind what day) turned out even more spectacular! I smiled over your statement about “the wrappers came off easily.” Nothing more frustrating than trying to get to chocolate while peeling off bits & pieces of foil! No need with these yummy, gooey brownies… and I hear ya on the cut-offs. 😉

  8. belated or not it doesn’t matter. Apparently in India youngsters celebrate valentines day a week later so that their parents don’t notice. lol
    Send me some of your brownies asap pls!! =D

  9. deepti says:

    These brownies looks so good… I just love it… You have categorized the people exactly right regarding the valentines day celebration! Hope you had a great time eating brownies filled with chocolates….

  10. Ramona says:

    You know, I am glad you posted these later. I was in such a chocolate coma last week… I would not have been able to appreciate them. These look utterly mouthwatering and they deserve a special place at the table. 🙂

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