Strawberry Jam-Marbled Brownies

Tuesday, November 19

Strawberry Jam-Marbled Brownies | une gamine dans la cuisine


Sometimes words flow from my mind and pour through my typing fingers with the natural ease of a cloud forest rain shower. Other times, such as today, each thought and letter feels like a stubborn weed that requires several tedious yanks and pulls (and cups of creamy coffee). I just caught myself staring blankly at this yet-to-be-written post until the screen saver teased my eyes back into focus. My current lackadaisical demeanor may have a lot to do with the fact that I feel somewhat serene...an emotion that's foreign and new to my overly over-thinking head.

Last Sunday a wind storm blew through and carried away our cable and WiFi connection - for almost two days I was completely "unplugged." Initially I felt twitchy and flustered (I must have listened to the same recording from my cable company at least seven times in the first two hours!) but as the withdrawal symptoms dissolved, I found a quiet peace. It was relaxing to not hear the *chime* of incoming mail, or worry about trying to keep up with everyone's posts and Pins and Tweets and Instagrams. Instead I caught up on some reading (from a real book!), I rearranged the furniture in two rooms and I even rediscovered my lost love, yoga.

Please don't tell anyone, but it was almost disappointing when gadgets started beeping and chirping this morning. Almost. ;)


Strawberry Jam-Marbled Brownies | une gamine dans la cuisine


Now that things are back to their normal level of chaos, it does feel good to be able to share a recipe again. These brownies were inspired by The Vanilla Bean Blog. If you're not yet familiar with Sarah's blog, please take a peek - her photos and writing are mesmerizing.

What drew me to this particular brownie recipe was the lack of a double boiler. For as much as I adore baking, sometimes I really just want a brownie in my hand as soon as humanly possible - without having to contend with a pile of dishes. Equipmently-speaking, all that's required for these beauties is one mixing bowl, a whisk, and a spatula - not at all too painful!

Sarah's recipe calls for espresso power, something I'm almost always lacking. Instead I exchanged the boiling water with fresh, strong-brewed coffee. As a result, the brownies have an unabashedly mocha vibe, one that matches perfectly with their soft, semi-fudgy texture. The happy dollops of jam were merely an effort to pacify my craving for something fruity + chocolaty - it worked out beautifully. These brownies helped me through WiFi withdrawal and they're a perfect après-yoga treat. Not bad for one bowl.


Strawberry Jam-Marbled Brownies | une gamine dans la cuisine


strawberry jam-marbled brownies
makes about 20-24 brownies
adapted from the vanilla bean blog

ingredients
1 ounce (1/3 cup) Dutch processed cocoa power {Note: I used Hershey's Special Dark}
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons strong brewed coffee, hot
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
4 Tablespoons (that's half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 room temperature eggs
2 egg yolks
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
1/2 cup strawberry preserves {Note: Give the measured out jam a good stir to loosen it up.}

method
Place the oven rack into the lowest slot. Preheat to 350 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil (shiny side facing up) and butter the foil. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, hot coffee, and unsweetened chocolate - keep whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Whisk in the melted butter and oil. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, whisking for about one minute after each addition. Add the vanilla and sugar - whisk to combine. Add the flour and salt and, using a large rubber spatula, stir just until all streaks of white have dissolved into the batter. Fold in the chunks of chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Pour the batter into prepared pan, use an offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer. Dollop spoonfuls of jam onto the brownie batter. {Note: Don't place the jam too close to the edges of the pan or it will burn. Leave about 1/4-inch border.} Run a small offset spatula or butter knife through the jam and batter - just once should be enough, you don't want the "mix" the two together, just swirl.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the pan from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

18 comments:

  1. These brownies sound wonderful, Valerie. I love the idea of strawberry jam running through my brownie!

    And I'm sorry to hear you were unconnected for a couple of days, but how great that you achieved serenity!

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  2. chocolate with jam - SUCH A GREAT IDEA!

    I mean choc and PB is great, but these are so unique and different than the usual brownies I see, and I want to make them!

    pinned

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  3. I adore those happy dollops of jam so much! And I know what you mean about feeling serene - sometimes it's truly good to unplug and take a break. Now if only one of these brownies would magically appear at my desk for a pre-dinner snack :).

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  4. These are so creative, and I love the moody photos!

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  5. This sounds like an amazing idea! I'm definitely going to suggest these to my sister! :)

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  6. I completely agree about being unplugged. It's such a refreshing experience, frustrating at first then really, really lovely.. These brownies look wonderfully moist, fudgy, and perfectly accented with that jam..

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  7. Sometimes I wish I would be forced to "unplug" for a few days. I think it would do the body and soul some good! Thank you for sharing your recipe with me! These brownies look DELICIOUS.

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  8. Being unplugged for a while is good. Whether we want it or not modern technologies induce a lot of stress...

    Those brownies look luscious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. unplugging and getting lost in a book is such a pleasurable experience but sucks that it happens so rare.

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  10. You know, I think having some time offline is fairly healthy once in a while, you get to see the world beyond internet and well, many other things :)

    p.s. these are just fabulous brownies

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  11. Words never flow for me, writing is always, always the hardest part of getting a blog post up! Your time unplugged sounds heavenly, glad you enjoyed it :) And these brownies are amazing - strawberries and chocolate? Count me in!

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  12. they look great! what beautiful photos.

    perhaps you can help a fellow food blogger out and vote for my mac n cheese in a recipe contest? i'd greatly appreciate it!! :)
    http://www.mysteryingredientbloggershowcase.com/?contestants=macaroni-and-cheese

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  13. This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

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  14. Those peaceful unplugged days are the best - but so hard to make happen without being forced by some technical issue. Glad you had those serene days.
    These brownies look perfectly decadent, and I love the photos!

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  15. Looks delicious!
    The idea of adding the jam on top is so sweet, such a nice touch!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

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  16. strawberry jam is an inspired addition to brownies - they look absolutely gorgeous! glad you were able to find serenity during those unplugged days!

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  17. How gorgeous are these Valerie! I am so glad you are back. These brownies are wonderful.

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  18. What a PERFECT combination of flavors and a brilliant way to make an ordinary brownie extraordinary!!! Lovely photos!!

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Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie

 

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