I participated in a Toastmasters competition today. Toastmasters is this public speaking club where you give speeches in front of your fellow club members and someone critiques you.
I joined about a year ago. I get nervous when I speak to crowds, and this seemed like a good way to overcome some of that anxiety.
I have felt much more comfortable speaking at the club meetings. I spoke last week at a smaller competition, and that went well. There were over twice the number of people who attended the competition today.
I made a small slip up early on, and I was wobbly and unsure of myself for the rest of the speech. I'm exhausted.
Not only was the speech rocky, but I socialized forever. I'm an introvert, and hours of chatting wears me out. I wish I had a brownie to comfort me. I eat my feelings when I'm tired, stressed, or sad.
The brownie recipe came from allrecipes.com. The recipe is aptly entitled "Best Brownies." It's an exaggeration, but they were decadent enough for me to let it slide. The ingredients are 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. The recipe had directions and ingredients for a frosting, but I use ganache instead.
The peanut butter ganache recipe came from food.com. The peanut butter flavor was too weak, but it was creamy and rich. I made half of the ganache that the recipe directed. The ingredients are 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 1/4 cup peanut butter. I garnished the brownies with two chopped peanut butter cups.
For the brownies, I melted the butter. I removed the pan from the heat and added the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. I stirred.
I added the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. I stirred until there were no lumps.
I poured the divine batter into a nine inch square that was greased. I lined the pan with foil because I was particularly cautious.
While the brownies baked for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, I prepared the ganache. I wanted the ganache to have time to cool a little before pouring it on the brownies. I chopped the chocolate into little bits and put it into a saucepan.
I added the peanut butter and cream.
I melted these ingredients together over low heat. I stirred constantly.
I let the brownies cool and then poured the ganache on top. It was a thick layer of ganache. I didn't need to spread it; I just gave the pan a couple of soft thumps on the counter.
I garnished with two chopped peanut butter cups. I let the ganache firm up in the fridge for an hour.
After it had firmed up, I removed it from the pan and foil. As you can see, there was almost as much ganache as brownie, a perfect ratio really.
I cut them into small squares because they were rich.
These were rich, creamy, and dreamy. The brownie was dense and fudge like.
The ganache was decadent and smooth.