Photography is a huge part of having a food blog, or any blog really. Beautiful images make for an attractive site, however, this can be extremely hard to achieve. I personally struggle with the photography aspect, but I'm definitely learning and developing the skill. Throughout my photography experiences, I've figured out a couple of key elements that help me achieve my best photographs. Using diffusers, reflectors, and composition ideas, I've really strengthened my images.
Working with both natural and artificial light, I've come to notice the pros and cons of each. I really like the look of natural light, but the creative power with artificial lighting is completely worth taking the extra time to set the lights up!

So, the recipe this week is perfect for winter. Its rich chocolate combined with light whipped cream makes for the perfect dessert. I highly recommended this for any holiday parties that are coming in about a month or two!


Irish Mint Brownies

Yields 2 1/2 dozen

For the Brownie:
1 cup butter, cubed
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a microwave, melt butter and bittersweet chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate mixture. Gradually add flour until blended. Spread into a greased 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the Filling:
4 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup refrigerated Irish creme coffee creamer
1 cup heavy whipping cream
15 mint Andes candies

In a microwave, melt white chocolate and creamer for 30 second intervals, stirring intermittently until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes until chilled. In another small bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form; fold into white chocolate mixture. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Fold in chopped candies. Spread over brownies. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Icing:
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
Halved Andes mints (optional)

In a small saucepan heat cream to a simmer. Place chocolate in a small bowl. Slowly pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in butter until melted. (You may have to return the chocolate mixture to the heat in order to fully melt the butter.) Cool to room temperature. Carefully spread over the filling. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour until icing is set. Cut into bars and garnish with additional candies. Store in the refrigerator.


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