It’s my 10th anniversary, friends. Today is quite a special day. Too bad I’m at work, teaching America’s future!
This post is not just about this dessert, which I made in honor of love that lasts. It’s about, well, the love that lasts.
For instance, I’ve loved brownies forever, and I always will. Same for chocolate. Same for Kenny. Are we sensing a pattern yet here?
I’ve talked about Kenny and our relationship from time to time on this blog, but I never talked about the first time I ever saw him. It was my first weekend at college, and as a transplant from Indiana to Maryland, I didn’t know a soul. Looking back, I must have been terrified and nervous, but I don’t remember that part.
Fresh off my first weekend as a college student, I headed to a Sunday evening barbecue. I was relieved when I saw a girl I’d met at orientation, and we waved and walked over to each other. After we got our burgers and settled down on chairs, she pointed across the large square at a boy and said, “That’s the boy I want to date. His name is Kenny, and my sister knows him from camp. Isn’t he cute?”
Kenny was, indeed, very cute. He was tall, athletic, blonde, and just the kind of guy I knew would never look at me. And sure enough, while we became vaguely friendly, he remained completely elusive. He dated a friend of mine briefly, and I dated other people, and that was really the end of it. Or so I thought.
Fast-forward seven years, and I was a seasoned D.C. resident with a lot more moxie. Kenny and I were still friendly, even though I barely saw him. But over drinks with my best friend one night (shout out to her for this), she told me to take a chance and ask him out.
Over more drinks, I agreed. And I did. And boy, was I shocked when I realized that this boy I’d known for all these years was actually serious dating potential. It was even more of a shock when we fell in love and, in fairly quick order, got married.
I’ve known Kenny for half my life now, and we’ve been together for eleven years. As of today, we’ve been married for ten of those years. In that time, we’ve had three children, gone through numerous challenges together, and we’ve faced it all with our usual tendency to try and not take things so seriously. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to keep me sane and grounded.
It’s because of my constant gratitude to a man that I basically became myself with that I want to really celebrate the heck outta this anniversary. And of course, that means we’ve got to do it up on the dessert front.
My recipe for gluten-free brownies is solid, so I used that as a base for these mini-tortes. The brownies are baked and then topped with a layer of raspberry jam. Over that, I poured a rich chocolate ganache and added some chocolate-covered raspberries. And if you’re up for some flair, powdered sugar doesn’t hurt.
The dessert is elegant and celebratory, but not difficult at all. If you can’t find a disposable paper baking cup for them (I got lucky at Target in the clearance bin), a ramekin would work just as well.
To Kenny: happy tenth, babes. Let’s hope the next ten are just as sweet.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat four ramekins or disposable baking cups with cooking spray. Place on a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set and the edges are firm.
- While the brownies are baking, prepare the melting chocolate according to package directions. Dip the raspberries in the chocolate, holding each raspberry at the tip. Place upside-down on Silpat or waxed paper to dry.
- Remove the brownies from the oven to cool. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over each mini-torte.
- While the brownies are cooling, make the ganache. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream for one minute. Stir until smooth, heating an additional 20 seconds if needed.
- Pour the ganache evenly over each of the mini-tortes. Top with two to three chocolate-covered raspberries. Let the ganache set.
- When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar.