Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July American Flag Brownies

 My country's birthday is coming up shortly, and I was fortunate to celebrate over the weekend with other expats here in the Netherlands. Instead of a recipe, this is more of a method to achieve a gorgeous American Flag that you can serve at a 4th of July Barbecue. These brownies start from my modification of a brownie product found here, but you can begin with anything baked (brownies, cake, bar cookies, etc.) in a 9"x13" pan. First, place the already baked brownies in the freezer while preparing the fruit and the whipped cream. Pick through about 500 grams of strawberries (1 or 2 quarts), until you have berries about the same size, that are the prettiest of the bunch, stems removed. Pick through a small carton of blueberries until you have about 50. Rinse and pat the fruit dry and set it aside.
Place 250 ml of heavy cream (at least 30% fat content, so to my friends here in the Netherlands, that is slagroom, not lite, not kookcreme). Whip the cream on high with a wire-whisk until soft peaks form. Add about 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form(the sugar gives the whipped cream some stability).
 Remove the brownies from the freezer and spread the whipped cream evenly over the entire pan. Place blueberries in upper left corner, side by side, approximately 6 rows and 8 columns(if your pan curves at the corners, it wont be perfect, but it doesn't matter.) Next, at the top, place a row of strawberries. Make sure you can put another row of strawberries level with the bottom of the blueberries, and also at the bottom of the pan. Fill-in the remaining rows (I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't get two rows in between where the blueberries end and the bottom. I think it would have looked nicer, but my berries were too big for that.) to create an American flag.
Bring your work of art to a BBQ and watch it disappear. Don't wait too long to serve it because the whipped cream will melt in the summer sunshine.
God Bless America!
 Happy 4th of July to everyone in the USA and to Americans all over the world.

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