Enlightenment and Chocolate

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God will not give you more than you can handle. So, remember that He believes you are strong enough to deal with whatever you are going through and it’s within this process you will discover your strength.

So maybe you aren’t where you thought you would be in life, but it’s through all these experiences that you will become the person you need to be in order to succeed in the job you want, be a great wife/husband and a loving mother/father. Things will happen in your life when you are ready for them.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

Throughout my past experiences and the healing process I have had to go through, I have encountered a number of enlightening moments; one of them being this morning. After a fun night out with friends, discussing future plans, new careers that are starting and moves that are happening, I woke up with a freeing feeling that evoked such a feeling of happiness that I began to tear up as I completed my morning run. I suddenly realized that I am finally living my life….for me. This, right here, right now, this is real life and we only get one. I can easily let myself sit and wallow in years wasted, regrets, etc., but at the end of the day it doesn’t do anything except continue to hold me back from living the life I have imagined.

So, I encourage you, as Henry David Thoreau aptly put it: “Go in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.” Things may be rough right now and the light at the end of the tunnel may not be shining brightly, but embrace the hardship of the climb and know that the view from the top will be beautiful.

So, now that I’ve (for lack of a better term) beat a dead horse by reiterating this message in my past couple of posts, let’s celebrate new beginnings and life with chocolate. You may have gathered this by now, but I am a sucker for chocolate. One stipulation though, it must be dark. Don’t try coming at me with the milk variety, it just won’t do and don’t even get me started on white chocolate, which shouldn’t even be allowed to bear the name “chocolate”. Impostor.

So, when I’m craving something a little indulgent, one of my favorite desserts is flourless chocolate cake. It’s rich, fudge-like consistency is the perfect end to any dinner or the perfect afternoon companion to a cup of coffee. Most of the time when making flourless chocolate cakes, a springform pan is used. Since I currently don’t own one, I decided to create my love for this dessert into a brownie bar instead. The result was exactly what I needed. Topping these with fresh berries or a raspberry glaze is my favorite way to enjoy this dessert, but it is more than capable of standing alone in the spotlight too.
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Flourless Chocolate Brownie Bars with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Ganache:

  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 brownie pan with parchment paper, excess hanging slightly over the side of pan (this will allow you to lift the brownies from the pan when ready to cut) and set aside.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and stir until smooth. Add sugar and reduce heat to low, stirring until all sugar is dissolved.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for a couple minutes. While whisking mixture, add eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one entirely. Whisk quickly as you do not want the eggs to curdle from the hot mixture. Whisk in vanilla until a smooth batter forms. Sift in cocoa and salt to avoid clumping and whisk to completely incorporate.

4. Pour batter into prepared brownie pan and spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the center of the cake is just firm to the touch.

5. In the same saucepan you used for the batter, heat chocolate and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour the glaze over the brownies and spread evenly. Top with berries, let cool and enjoy.

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