With Valentines Day just around the corner, the inevitable question will come up: what to get/do/say?
In our little loveland, Valentines Day is an excuse to get out for a great meal and have a nice old-fashioned date night. It’s not about showing love with material things, but with actions.
But what do you do if you’re strapped for cash?
Well lucky you, there are tons of things you can do to show you care on even the tiniest of budgets. A personal favourite: baking. Who doesn’t love a little homemade treat? Not only are they delicious, they show you took some time an effort to make something special.
So if baking is on your love-day to do list, might I suggest you try these to-die-for Dulce de Leche Brownies by the amazing David Lebovitz. Hands down one of my top 3 favourite recipes.
Dulce de leche, a milk-based caramel, is among one of the most delicious things out there. Sweet and smooth, you’ll just want to slather it all over yourself (and certainly, you’re loved one will approve).
Brownies are a treat loved by most, especially when as moist and rich as the ones Lebovitz provides with this recipe. With huge chunks of dulce de leche throughout, it becomes a treasure hunt for golden nuggets.
Pair these with a good wine, a cuddle-worthy flick and a back rub and watch your romantic night unfold.
recipe from davidlebovitz.com
Dulce de Leche Brownies
Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)
8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
optional: 1 cup (100 g) toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche (or Cajeta)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn’t reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part. Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Storage:These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.