Merlot Brownies with Merlot Ganache and Sea Salt

 

red wine brownies

Every Valentine’s Day I sit and contemplate- wine or brownies? I picked up some of my favorite red wine from Trader Joes and I knew I wanted to do a Merlot infused ganache.

red wine brownies

Once I started throwing together the brownie batter I drizzled a little more Merlot into the batter. The result was sooo good. The wine brings out the richness in the chocolate while keeping them so fudgey and moist.

These are honestly even better the next day. Enjoy them with a little cocoa whipped cream or on their own!

Merlot Brownies with Merlot Ganache and Sea Salt
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Merlot Infused Brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of Merlot
  • ¾ cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • ½ cup of AP flour
  • For the ganache
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of Merlot
  • Finish with sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla.
  3. Add the eggs.
  4. Add in the baking soda and flour.
  5. Lightly mix until incorporated.
  6. Pour in the Merlot and stir until you have an even batter.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until center is set.
  8. For the ganache-
  9. Heat the cream in the microwave for about 40 seconds on high.
  10. Add the vanilla and chocolate.
  11. Mix until the chocolate starts to melt.
  12. Add the Merlot and whisk until smooth.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Perfectly Seared Steak

perfectly seared steak

perfectly seared steak

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I have been practicing so many recipes for Valetine’s Day! Yesterday after I was going on my 2nd hour of finishing a truffle cupcake I realized something really important. Who the heck is going to want to spend the entire (Tuesday) day of Valentine’s Day cooking? That is when I decided to share this recipe with you.

If you are going to invest in any type of cooking gear, I highly recommend a cast iron skillet. Patrick gave me this large skillet on Christmas because I had previously been using a few tiny skillets. It doesn’t have to been anything fancy. I am pretty sure Walmart and Homegoods sell some pretty inexpensive ones. If you take care of your skillet it will last forever.

This weekend we went ahead and seasoned our new pan. Heat your oven up to 400 degrees. Take a cloth or paper towel and dip into canola oil or lard. Then cover the entire surface of the skillet. Even the handle and the outside. Bake for 1 hour then cool.

Okay back to this steak. I am forever over cooking my steaks because I come up with elaborate side dishes and the steak almost becomes an after thought. This time I made the steak the star of the show! This recipe is great for Valentine’s Day because it is so easy and quick, but definitely does not lack flavor!

perfectly seared steak

Perfectly Seared Steak
Recipe type: Steak, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Perfectly Seared Steak for Valentine's Day
Ingredients
  • 2 ribeye steaks
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 heaping tbsp of chopped or smashed garlic
  • ¼ cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp of powdered garlic
  • cracked salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl place your steaks and the soy sauce, chopped garlic, salt and pepper, brown sugar and crushed red pepper.
  3. Let your steaks sit on the counter at least and hour before marinating to come to almost room temp.
  4. Marinate your steaks for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Heat your skillet over medium high.
  6. Pour half the butter in and let heat.
  7. Add your steaks and cook without touching for 1 minute.
  8. Pour in the rest of the butter and flip. Season with garlic powder salt and pepper.
  9. Cook for 1 minute then pour the marinade over the meat.
  10. Into the oven for 3 minutes for rare.
  11. minutes for medium.
  12. (This depends on how thin your steaks are. Mine where about an inch thick)
  13. Remove from pan immediately and let rest on a cutting board or plate.
  14. Once rested for about 5 minutes serve with a little of the pan sauce.

Enjoy your perfectly seared steak! Keep it simple and serve with a fresh veggie an potato. We like roasted asparagus and roasted red potatoes. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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German Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Dark Chocolate Frosting

german chocolate cupcake

German chocolate means different things to different people. It blows my mind how many weirdos people do not like coconut! I look everything about coconut. The smell, taste, and texture! BUT for those of you who do not like or cannot eat coconut I made German chocolate cupcakes minus the coconut.

These cupcakes were created by an American with the name German. They are a very sweet fluffy chocolate cupcake. I typically go for a dense fudge-y cupcake, but today I wanted to lighten up since I was going to cover them in a rich dark chocolate.

chocolate cupcake

I attempted to film a quick icing tutorial. It will be live with this post. Be warned: Filming alone while trying to keep all the important steps in focus is way more difficult than I imagined. I have a remote for my camera, but the only indication that you are filming is a quick blue flash. If you miss it then you have no idea if you are recording. I tried running back and forth to make sure I was recording, but somehow I still missed an important clip. When I was actually spiraling the icing over the cupcakes.  I will keep practicing and I promise to have a full tutorial in the future!

Click here for the dark chocolate icing tutorial!

German Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Dark Chocolate Frosting
Recipe type: Baking, Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Sweet chocolate cupcakes perfect for a heavy icing. This is the German chocolate recipe for anyone that does not want coconut in their cupcake.
Ingredients
  • 4 oz of BAKERS SWEET chocolate (one full bar or 4 oz of milk chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup of strong brewed coffee
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup of butter) melted and cooled (unsalted)
  • ½ cup of butter milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and set out your cupcake tins greased or with liners.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for one minute.
  3. You can add a tsp of milk while you microwave to keep from burning.
  4. Set the chocolate to the side to slightly cool.
  5. Mix together the sugar, eggs and butter.
  6. Add in the chocolate.
  7. Just make sure the chocolate is not hot enough to cook your eggs.
  8. Mix in the vanilla.
  9. Add in the coffee.
  10. Mix in the flour, salt and baking soda. Do not over mix.
  11. Add in the buttermilk.
  12. Your batter will be liquidy.
  13. Pour into baking tins.
  14. Do not over bake. Pull them out of the oven as soon as your testing tooth pick comes out clean.

 I hope you enjoy this Valentine’s Day (or any day) treat!

cupacakes

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Valentine’s Day Makeup – Smokey vs Neutral

Valentines Day Makeup

Valentines Day Makeup

Click here to watch the full tutorial

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite times of the year to play with makeup. You can do something dark and smokey or something fresh and glamorous. We do not typically do much for such holidays, but we will probably go out to dinner.

Smokey Eye

Click here to watch the full tutorial

I am pretty sure I am going to do something more like the first look. Very fresh and glowing with a lot of lash. I am pretty excited because even though we like doing something small just the two of us I ordered a gorgeous red dress and I cannot wait. What look are you doing this year?

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