I hope those who were celebrating had a nice Valentine’s Day and those trying to avoid it were able to do so successfully! I must confess, I’m a lucky gal who has a truly wonderful husband. He’s amazing every day of the year with all he does for me and for us, and special occasions are no exception.
The last couple of weeks his work had been extremely busy and they are having to work quite a bit of overtime, including this weekend. He has been working such long, hard days, I decided this year the best gift to give him would be a nice dinner when he got home on Valentine’s night. I thought about what to make based on his favorite things. For the dinner, I made fettuccine with shrimp, mushrooms and roasted tomatoes in a marscapone cream sauce, since he loves mushrooms and pasta and the shrimp upped the dish to something fancier than a usual dinner for us. It was incredible and I will have to post that recipe the next time I make it, because there was no way we were going to delay eating (and let the shrimp get cold) so I could get a photo last night.
For dessert, Ilya’s a huge brownie fan. I think his favorite would be peanut butter, but I had just made the Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup brownies last week, so it wouldn’t be special enough if I just made those again. Likewise, I didn’t want to make any of the things that were made over the last couple of weeks to post on here. So off to Pinterest I went, perusing brownie ideas. I found the recipe these brownies were adapted from and knew right away these were it. The recipe called for using a box brownie mix and canned cream cheese frosting, but those just wouldn’t do for a Valentine’s dinner, so I used my fudgy brownie recipe and made homemade cream cheese frosting (it legit takes all of 5 minutes for homemade frosting). I didn’t have raspberry jelly but we had some raspberry preserves, so that’s what was used in mine. I taste-tested the chocolate raspberry mixture before putting it in the fridge to cool and it seemed lacking, so I added in some raspberry extract (I mean, raspberry mousse should taste like raspberries, right?). Plus there is a LOT of intense chocolate flavor going on between the brownies and the chocolate in the mousse, so I really wanted the raspberry taste to pop. In the end, they turned out perfect and were by far the most decadently delicious brownies I’ve ever made. Ilya even said they are “the greatest brownies in the history of all time”! Score! All in all Valentine’s Day dinner was a huge success taste-wise and gesture-wise, as Ilya loved the thought and effort put in to making things with his favorite ingredients. The best part of doing dinner at home is then we can just roll our super-stuffed selves over to the couch to snuggle and watch a movie (which is exactly what we did).
To give an idea of what you can expect with these, the brownie portion is a dense, fudgy brownie that is all kinds of delicious, then the mousse is light and smooth and melts in your mouth. The contrast in textures is perfect, making these brownies go down real easy. I know a lot of people are reluctant to do homemade brownies, thinking they’re so much work, but they’re honestly not that much more work or time than boxed brownies yet are infinitely more delicious. Give them a whirl and you will never want to use a boxed brownie mix again (at least that’s what happened for me).