A few days ago my husband informed me that he was getting more like me.
“In what way?” I asked. He said that his approach to holidays used to be very simple. He would pretty much wake up and go about his day as usual until something reminded him that it was a holiday. From there he continued to go about his day as usual unless someone invited him to a party or something. But nowadays, when one holiday ends, in this case Christmas and New Year's, he immediately starts bracing himself for the next. (This is his way of telling me he's aware that Valentine's day is coming up)
Truth be told I have been planning for Valentine's day since January 2nd. It always sneaks up on you I tell you! So to prevent that I am supplying you with the perfect Valentine's recipe for you to make for your sweetie this year so you won't have to be surfing the web frantically the day before the big day.
It's delicious and utterly adorable. Oh and man approved. Pretty much every man I know loves strawberries and pudding. I don't know what it is about pudding but it is manly. Women will always want to spruce pudding-like dishes up and call it mousse. But the men won't have it. They just want their pudding. At least that's what my dad has always said.
And thus I present to you the Strawberry-Stuffed Brownie Torte.
This isn't the kind of thing you see floating all around the blogosphere. It's original and I promise that if you present this to your special someone on Valentine's day or any other day for that matter, he or she will feel the love.
Strawberry-Stuffed Brownie Torte
Serves: 8 (generous slices)
Serves: 8 (generous slices)
- 1 (21-24 ounce) high quality box brownie mix
- Water, vegetable oil and egg(s) as directed on box1/3 cup water*
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 ounces whipped cream (homemade or Cool Whip work)
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Before I begin, please double check that you purchase a brownie mix that its 21-24 ounces. Also be sure that it's a high quality non-generic brand—one with some extra pizzaz like chocolate chips, syrup etc. I chose Betty Crocker Triple Chunk. It really does make a big difference in this recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with circles of wax paper. Grease wax paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the brownie mix, vegetable oil, water and egg(s) as directed by the brownie mix box. Then take your brownie mix and note the warning on the back side.
Then continue eating the raw batter. :) I think I was permanently scarred as a child by watching Rocky drink raw eggs for breakfast. I figured if Rocky did it, it couldn't be bad! And to this day eating raw brownie batter is one of the great joys of my life.
Divide batter evenly into the two pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Watch them closely, you don't want them to get too dry. Cool completely in the pan on cooling racks.
In another large bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup cold water. Beat in pudding mix with whisk. Transfer bowl to the refrigerator and chill for 5 minutes. Remove from fridge and gently fold in whipped cream. Peel wax paper off of brownies. Place one brownie layer on a serving plate. Top with half of the pudding mixture, followed by half of the sliced strawberries.
Add the second brownie layer and repeat, arranging strawberries prettily on top! Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.