Did you celebrate Valentine's day?
Why do we celebrate Valentine's day? I'm not going to touch on history and facts. For me, it's an excuse to do something nice and fun; treat it like a special day to grant a wish or give a wish. I'm not sure how it started but in Asia we have a Valentine's day and a White Valentine's day. Valentine's day is a day when males express feelings to females. On the contrary, a white valentine's day is a day when females express feelings to males. Interesting huh? I think so too.
I found fascinating information from a National Geographic website talking about V-day.
"Among those who are celebrating in 2011, the average U.S consumer is expected to spend $116.21 on Valentine's Day gifts, meals, and entertainment, according to the survey -- about $13 more per person than in 2010."
Yep. I know. This is crazy! Our economy is going to recover soon(?).
So for us, we didn't help spur up the economy much because we stayed home cooking. Thinking about making a reservation with a nice restaurant, fighting a crowd, getting home late, and getting up early to work the next day, had worn me out. Staying at home was such a brilliant idea all of a sudden.
It was a little challenging to prepare a 3-course meal on a weekday but we managed it alright. The coolest thing was Keith helped me cook. Well, this rarely happens in my kitchen! We had an Asian tomato soup for the first course, a five spice powder seared Ahi tuna salad with wasabi dressing for the second course, and this sweet adorable brownie for the third course.
I tried to find a recipe that accommodated ingredients I already had and adapted it to suit my preference. I also changed the shape of it by using a plating/dessert ring to make it round and tall. It looks pretty good (hehe). We loved it; so did our friends. Happy belated Valentine's Day!
PS: I'm not able to provide directional photos for this dish because I was busy preparing the meal. As you know it was hectic in the kitchen. Sorry about that!
Raspberry Mousse Brownie
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup frozen or fresh raspberries, drained, mashed
Raspberry Mousse:8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chopped chocolate
a few drops food coloring (red) - optional
Directions for Brownie:This can be made a day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line foil on a 9 inch baking pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave or a bowl above simmering boil water.
- Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time. Beat until fluffy.
- Beat in melted chocolate.
- Gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix until combined.
- Stir in raspberries. Spread in a baking pan.
- Bake for 25-30 mins or until wooden stick inserted in center come out slightly sticky. Let cool on a wire rack.
Directions for Mousse:
- Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and food coloring (if using) until creamy.
- Fold in raspberries and chopped chocolate.
- In another bowl, beat creamy until stiff peak. Fold it into raspberry mixture.
- Use a dessert ring cut out brownie. Adjust the brownie in the ring so that there's desired space for the mousse.
- Spread mousse on top of brownie.
- Keep everything in the ring and refrigerated until it's set.
- Remove the ring from bottom to top. Decorate and serve.