Today, I have a feeling of relief, since I am done with mid-terms and getting ready for spring break, which begins this Thursday. So what better to do with my time, than bake some deluxe brownies? The weather outside is a bit glum, so I feel even better, spending time in the kitchen!
Today I made Cocoa Mascarpone Brownies, with a creamy Raspberry Jam frosting. This is the best brownie recipe that I have ever made. A thousand times better than any brownie from a box.
You will see that I have listed a few of the ingredients as "fair trade". What does fair trade mean? Well, you see. Fair trade certified products are products that are produced in a foreign country and are certified to have been fairly traded, by a third party organization. That is, the product has been traded in a way that ensures the farmer receive a livable wage. With fair trade, the farmer is connected directly to the buyer, and is paid market price for their goods. With out fair trade certification, farmers often rely on middle-men to transport their goods to the market. Because the middle-man has the upper hand, he is able to pay the farmer a low price, and sell the product for a higher price, keeping the profits for himself. Fair trade has many other benefits as well. For example, fair trade certification parties help to establish community cooperatives, and aid in the building of schools and religious centers in the communities. By supporting fair trade, you are supporting the alleviation of the farmers who feed our planet. You can buy several of your products as fair trade, including tea, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, sugar, cotton, and many more! Look for this label, to support fair trade:
Cocoa Mascarpone Brownies
1 cup of unsalted butter
3 ounces of semisweet organic, fair trade chocolate chips
1 cup of fair trade sugar
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
3 farm fresh eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of fair trade vanilla extract
1/2 cup of white flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and butter a 8 x 8" glass cake pan.
2. In a small pan, melt the butter. Place the chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl, and pour the hot butter over the chocolate chips. Let stand for about 30 seconds, and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder into the butter and chocolate mixture. With a mixing spoon, blend in the mascarpone, eggs and vanilla, until this is smooth.
4. Gently fold in the flour and salt into the batter. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Raspberry Jam Frosting
1/3 cup of mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup of cream cheese
1/3 cup of black raspberry jam (though you can use any type of jam!)
2/3 cups of powdered sugar
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Spread evenly over your brownies, when the brownies have cooled.
They are so easy and so delicious; your only problem will be limiting yourself to just one...