Killing Me Softly

Brownies with Toasted Coconut Caramel Frosting

Let’s talk about brownies for a moment. This part cake, part cookie, part fudge and fully and completely sinful dessert originated in the U.S. by the end of the 19th century. Though it’s claimed that brownies were the result of a carefully crafted and intentional dessert, I don’t buy it for a second. Personally, I think the brownie was the result of a heavy chocolate cake that collapsed while baking and to have it appear as intentional, genius even, the dense cake was served in a syrupy apricot glaze. But then again, I’m only speculating.

brownies2This brownie recipe is packed full of that fudgey goodness we’ve come to expect from a brownie, but be careful to not overbake it. The creamy frosting is balanced with bitter notes of toasted coconut, and smokey salt flakes sprinkled over the top. The brownie itself also contains a heap of chopped walnuts and chocolate chips for texture. Of course you can choose whatever nut you prefer – pecans, peanuts, macadamia – you get the picture. Or you can omit the nuts entirely, though I don’t recommend unless it’s due to an allergy.

brownies6Whether intentional or a fluke, brownies are among some of the most decadent sweets out there. I’ve always loved a good brownie, but I’ve always preferred frosting on it. Most brownies don’t have frosting, and for good reason. Brownies tend to be quite gooey and certainly sweeter than a typical piece of cake, making a frosting too over-the-top rich. I simply disagree. However, the frosting for a brownie must be carefully considered and serve a purpose. So the frosting I prefer to enhance a brownie is a toasted coconut salty caramel. It’s intense, I won’t lie, but it’s also not a sweet as you’d think.

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Brownies with Toasted Coconut Caramel Frosting

  • Servings: 20-24 Pieces
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 2 cups (300g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ lb. (220g) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tsp bourbon scented vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of  coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Butter or shortening, for greasing
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 175°C(350°F). Grease a 14″x10″ (36x26cm) pan and dust with cocoa powder.

2. Over a double boiler, melt the butter and semisweet chocolate. Remove and let cool while preparing the remaining ingredients.

3. In a large bowl, stir to combine the eggs, sugar, coffee crystals, and vanilla. Stir well, but do not beat.

4. In another small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and stir. Then stir in the flour and mix to combine. Finally, fold in the nuts and chocolate chips, but be sure the batter is cool enough so that the chocolate chips don’t melt.

6. Pour batter into the pan and bang a few times on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake on lowest rack for 15 minutes then bang on the side of the pan to make it collapse. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted, comes out clean. How thick the brownie is and whether you’re using a glass, metal, or silicone pan will alter the baking times. Don’t over bake.

7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before adding the frosting.
Toasted Coconut Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp syrup
  • 6 tbsp (50g) soft butter
  • 1 (397g) can of condensed milk
  • 1 tsp of premium quality sea salt, preferably smoked
  • 1½ cups deeply toasted unsweetened coconut

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, syrup, and water. Cover for 3 minutes.

2. Remove cover and bring the sugar up to 120°C or until it becomes a dark golden color, just before the smoking point.

3. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and then the condensed milk. Place back on high heat and continue whisking until the color intensifies to a rich golden color. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted coconut.

4. Spread frosting over the cool brownies and then sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Let cool completely before cutting into.

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24 thoughts on “Killing Me Softly

    1. Thanks! The trick really is not to over bake them, while at the same time baking them enough. Also, banging the pan half way through baking to make them collapse really takes away from that cakey texture. Good luck, and have a great weekend as well😃👍

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Like you said, I usually like my brownies without frosting, but coconut and caramel in the frosting, and the fact that it’s not that sweet, may make me reconsider! They look great! Wish I could have one now with my morning coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The caramel and coconut really works well with these brownies, though some tips to keep in mind, to keep it from being incredibly sweet, is to really bring the caramel right up to the smoking point to impart a bitterness, then that bitterness is balanced out with the salt. And also, be sure to use unsweetened coconut. That does the trick. My wife hates frosting, even on cake, but she could eat this frosting by the spoonful!👍😜😃

      Liked by 1 person

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