09 February 2014

#lovesochi in a Florentine swirl of red and white

140208 Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies1

A few days ago David Jones tweeted looking for support for Toronto Pride's #lovesochi campaign.  The ask was simple, tweet a picture of your hands making a heart shape and tweet it with the #lovesochi hashtag and a message of support to Russia's LGBTQ community.

For me, it's a no-brainer, and I was happy to tweet.  I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are gay, so I'm privy to some of the issues they've encountered.  I've been privileged to be one of the first, if not the first person someone's come out to, so I've seen and heard the relief when they've not been rejected because of their  preferences.  Really, beyond all of this, to me and a number of others, it's a human rights issue.

I fully admit not everyone shares my view (as is evidenced by Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws, as well as fights for same sex marriages and benefits), so I knew by participating in the campaign, I could open myself up to unkind messages.  Which isn't new: I'm an articulate and informed woman on Social Media, who isn't easily swayed by right-leaning bafflegab.

Would my latest "fan" be more disappointed to find out that he's not man enough for me (or any of my hot women friends…or hot men friends...now that I'm thinking of it, I do have a lot of hot friends), or that I am not a lesbian? Not that I'd tell him: I have enough issues with amorous online sillybillies who are attracted to the fact that I'm an articulate and informed woman on Social Media, who isn't easily swayed by right-leaning bafflegab.

And I know there's a chance by posting this here, I may attract more trolls.  It's a risk I take because not voicing my support is a risk I'm not willing to take.

My hands frame a gorgeous Florentine swirl of red and white, the top layer of a freshly baked tin of Red Velvet Swirl Brownies.  The maroon brownie layer is chocolatey, with the right amount of chew, and unlike many other red velvet cakes, there's little of the telltale bitterness half a bottle of red dye usually leaves. The silky cream cheese topping is a balance between sweet and tart with a hint of cocoa from the dolloped and swirled brownie batter.  Gorgeous, simple and tasty, I followed this Food Network Recipe almost to the letter, but not quite.

140208 Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies2Red Velvet Swirl Brownies
Yield 1 20cm x 20cm (8"x8") pan
Tweaked from Sunny Anderson's Red Velvet Swirl Brownies Recipe
Cream Cheese Layer:
250g/8oz/1 brick cream cheese, softened
50g/60ml/0.25c white sugar
1 egg
0.5tsp/2.5ml vanilla
Brownie Layer:
112g/125ml/0.5c butter, melted
200g/250ml/1c dark brown sugar

1tsp/5ml vanilla
25g/60ml/0.25c cocoa powder
pinch salt
1Tbsp/15ml red food colouring
1tsp/5ml red wine vinegar
2 eggs, beaten
110g/185ml/0.75c all purpose flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and butter and paper a 20cm x 20cm (8"x8") tin.
For the cream cheese layer:
Beat together the cream cheese layer ingredients until fluffy. Set aside.
For the brownie layer:
Cream beat together the melted butter with both sugars and vanilla. Beat in the cocoa powder and salt until well blended. Mix in the food colouring and then the food colouring. Stir in the eggs before folding in the flour in two additions.
Pour most of the cocoa batter into the prepared brownie tin (reserving about a third to quarter cup). Smooth the batter.
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie layer. Dollop the reserved cocoa batter on top of the cream cheese mixture. With a chopstick, skewer or teaspoon's handle swirl the two batters to create a pretty florentine pattern.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

I'm a quill for hire!
140208 LoveSochi campaign2

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