Chocolatey Strawberry Goodness

It's been a long month and I'm in need of some chocolatey goodness - and the caffeine and Tryptophan and Phenylethylalanine* to pick me up. So I went searching for some new recipes and found this on Hugs and Cookies XOXO. I've adapted it to metric and for Aussie cooking.

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Brownies.

What you need:
  • 1/2 cup margarine (I'm lactose intolerant. You can use butter if you prefer)
  • 225g dark cooking chocolate for brownies.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (we used fresh from mum's chook run)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 225g strawberries (just under a punnet )
  • 250g of 70% dark chocolate for the topping.
1-ingredientswm
How to make it:
Brownie base: Melt the cooking chocolate and margarine, until smooth. Stir in the sugar. Add vanilla and eggs and self-raising flour. Pour into pre-greased or non-stick 20 x 20 cm baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 175 deg C. Allow to cool. Topping: Slice strawberries and place on top of brown base. Melt dark chocolate and pour over the strawberries. Chill for one hour (minimum) and cut into slices. Yum! finish
Changes I made to the original recipe:

Self raising flour has flour+baking powder. In Australia we don't have salt in our self-raising flour, as they do in the US. I removed the salt in the original recipe to make this healthier. I'm also using 70% dark chocolate which is not as sweet (and less milk - see lactose intolerant comment above). I also increased the amount of chocolate for the topping to ensure the strawberries would be covered.

Changes I'll make next time:

The extra thickness made it harder to cut and made them very, very rich. Next time I'll try my 85% dark chocolate to reduce sweetness. I may also decrease the amount of chocolate to 200-225g for the topping so it is not as thick.

Suggestion: The brownies were soft and gooey (which I love). If you prefer your brownies more 'cake-like', then you will need to cook the brownie base for longer.

And for those who like video:

[embed]https://youtu.be/OMnuSp4MO3U[/embed]
Sciencey Stuff:

*Tryptophan: amino acid found in small amounts in chocolate and is used by the brain to make serotonin (neurotransmitter producing feelings of happiness). Phenylethylalanine: has been found in chocolate. It promotes feelings associated with the initial euphoria of falling in love. It also acts as an anti-depressant, combining with dopamine in the brain.

Bibliography:
  1. A natural compound in red wine and chocolate may halt Alzheimer’s, study finds http://www.sciencealert.com/a-natural-compound-in-red-wine-and-chocolate-may-halt-alzheimer-s-study-finds
  2. Can chocolate give me a happy high? http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/chocolate-high1.htm
  3. Compounds in dark chocolate can make you feel calmer... http://www.sciencealert.com/compounds-in-dark-chocolate-can-make-you-feel-calmer-and-more-content-study-finds
  4. Why does chocolate make us happy: http://www.sciencefocus.com/blog/why-does-chocolate-make-us-happy

Photos and Video:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.

When you can’t wait for that chocolate cake fix…

Hello, my name is Karen and I'm a chocoholic. You could say I haven't met a chocolate I didn't like (well, as long as it's dark chocolate) but that isn't entirely true. I'm not too fond of chocolate hot cross buns. There it is. My deep dark secret. What is true is when I get a craving for chocolate cake, I can't always wait thirty minutes to an hour! Thank goodness for the chocolate mug cake recipe. Chocolate cake. In a mug. In about five mintues. There are several recipes for mug cakes on the internet. Most are in US measurements. (insert sad face here). After trying a few, I came up with my own version, converted them to metric, reduced the sugar content and upped the cocoa. More chocolate! The great thing about this recipe is in about five minutes you get steaming hot chocolate cake - and very little washing up. (Always a bonus). You need:
  • a mug
  • a microwave
  • 4 tablespoons of self raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (the originals called for four or five!)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil as it is healthier)
  • 1 egg (I use freerange or backyard eggs)
  • splash of vanilla to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (or more if you want) of dark chocolate chips. This is optional.
I've made a video to show you how easy it is: [embed]https://youtu.be/KrOnj5bDQuo[/embed] Best of all, If you cook from scratch you can use healthier ingredients, such as olive oil. You can reduce the amount of sugar and use free range eggs. Most of all, you can avoid added artificial colourings, flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives. Have a go. And enjoy.