July 11, 2013

Ganache-Topped Mascarpone Brownies for The Geologist's Birthday

Ours is a love story of destiny... (sounds silly, but it's kinda true!)

We met in Missouri, right before I turned 16. I was angry that we had moved away from my BFF and that my brother's allergies prevented us from going somewhere fun, like Alaska or England. The Geologist was one of the "cool kids" of our church (he'd say that's not saying much in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it town like Warrensburg, but he was) and I will never know what made him invite dumpy, brace-faced, greasy-banged little me to hang out with them, but somehow we became best friends.
No, really. Ew. 
He and his brothers had a band, I became their biggest fan and only groupie. His house was my second home. He took me to prom, just because I was "supposed" to go, and showed up in a tux that matched my homemade dress. Our friendship lasted through hospital stays, girlfriends (his), miserable crushes (mine), failed geometry tutoring, a horrendously hot summer in Nauvoo Illinois, early-morning seminary, band practices, and church activities.
Ah, thank goodness for growing up!
After our 3 year military stay in Missouri, he left on a mission and I moved to Arizona. We wrote for two years, while I dated less-than-awesome guys and never found anyone to match him (as evidenced by all boyfriends' hatred of his name...) Somewhere during those two years he decided he was going to marry me, while I remained clueless.
It might have had something to do with the blanket I made him...
I came back to Missouri to visit after his mission, and we were unofficially engaged within 24 hours. (Calling my then-boyfriend to inform him of that fact was quite interesting...) I guess no one was really surprised, except me! There were no fireworks, no moment of blinding clarity, he was just the only person on earth I couldn't live without. He still is, and always will be, my best friend, my favorite person, and the love of my life.
He is smarter than he thinks, more awesome than he'll admit, funny as all get out, my romantic knight-in-shining armor, makes me happier than I have ever been, is absolutely my rock (no pun intended!!) and I am not worthy.
So I make him chocolate. :)

Happy Birthday!!

Ganache-Topped Mascarpone Brownies (from Bake or Break)
Printable Recipe

For the brownies:
1 cup unsalted butter (plus more for preparing pan)
3 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For the ganache:
6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tb heavy cream
3 Tb unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking pan very well and set aside. (You could also line it with foil, leaving overhanging flaps to pull the brownies out, then butter the foil)

Combine the butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring very well between each heating. Continue until both are completely melted and smoothly mixed together. (You can also melt them together in a heat-safe mixing bowl over a small pot of boiling water)

Sift sugar and cocoa powder together into a small bowl. Add to the butter/chocolate mixture. Whisk in the mascarpone, eggs, and vanilla, beating by hand until smooth. Fold in flour and salt. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack.

To make the ganache:
Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter and cream over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is almost boiling, pour over the chocolate. Stir until smoothly melted together. Pour ganache over cooled brownies and spread evenly.

Allow ganache to firm before cutting brownies. You can speed this up by putting the brownies in the refrigerator. (We liked them best cold anyway. They're easier to cut if you let them warm up a little.)
These were truly a decadent chocolatey treat worthy of The Geologist's birthday, as he is the biggest chocoholic I know!
Rich, dense, and silky smooth, honestly half of one of these pieces is a plenty big serving! They're amazing!!
If a truffle, the best piece of fudge you've ever had, and a brownie were magically fused together, you'd get these brownies. Someone who works with the Geologist apparently thought he should pay me for them, when he took the leftovers to work! Which of course made my day, and I wanted to send him another batch just for the compliment.
If you are a chocoholic, or know one, you've got to try these. Any recipe that can make me eat leftover slices of chocolate is truly groundbreaking!!


  1. I absolutely love this so much April. Friendship turning into the most romantic of loves. This is better than any movie that could ever be made :)

  2. I love LOVE this post, it's so neat to see how you two change in those photos. Stephen is truly wonderful, I feel so lucky to have him as a brother now. I hope one day I'll be lucky enough to find someone even half as awesome as him. Happy Birthday Stephen!

  3. Good Evening April, What a beautiful love story.... you were both meant to be together. I met my husband at the age of 16 years and we married when I was 19 years old. We have been married for 42 years and have two beautiful girls. Family thought I was too young and that our marriage would not last..... I think they were wrong, don't you.
    Happy Birthday to your Knight in Shining Armour.
    Best Wishes

  4. That's beautiful, April! You two are adorable and so very sweet! You take such great care of each other and it's just amazing! Glad you made him some chocolate, despite how much I know you don't much care for it yourself. Happy Birthday, Stephen!

  5. Hi! 1) Those look DIVINE...like truffles! Must have. 2) loved reading your love story...thank you for sharing!!! ~Danielle

  6. You guys are super adorable! And my mouth is already watering for these brownies...

  7. April- Those brownies look HEAVENLY! I am making them today!

  8. Hooray!! Please oh please tell me how you like them! :)

  9. Oh April. I just loved this. You think you were awkward and geeky? I wouldn't dare show you a photo of me at that age. I was way worse, trust me on this! You were such a beautiful girl and your missionary so handsome. I am so happy you married each other. You should always marry your best friend. That's the . . . bestest! HOpe the Geologist had a great Birthday. I know those brownies must have helped. They look fabulous! Well done! Love YOU! xxoo

  10. PS - I didn't know you were a Military Brat. So was I! (And a Military Wife for 22 years!) Snap!


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