Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosted Mocha Brownies

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I’ve been dying to make brownies for a while now.  I hate using a box mix and there’s really no excuse not to make brownies from scratch.  While they aren’t hard to make from scratch, doing so requires a few more steps.  You’ve got to melt the chocolate and mix things in stages while making sure not to overmix the batter.

Another thing I’ve been meaning to try is this buttercream recipe I found in the Flour Too cookbook.  I’ve always heard buttercream is a nightmare to make.  (Well my mom says its not worth making, but she says that about a lot of things.)  Things can go wrong, but I lucked out on my first try.  It was incredibly simple to add melted caramel to the frosting.  Susie actually double dipped her brownie, the frosting was that good!

To add your brownie making delights, you can check out Desperately Seeking Sanity.  Our good friend Heather, a blogger caught up on the latest gossip, decided to give baking a try after we promised her the recipes would taste great even if they didn’t turn out pretty.  It turns out that after some panicked texts that she had success with her apple galette!  She’ll be certain to please her family again with these brownies!

Mocha Brownies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 oz dark chocolate
2 oz semisweet chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder/instant coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla

Salted Caramel Buttercream
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
15 soft caramels
1 1/2 teaspoons milk

Let’s start with the brownies.  If you don’t have coconut oil, you can sub in 4 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons canola oil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Depending on what you have on hand, line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil to form a sling.  A sling is where the paper hangs over the edges of the pan.  Doing this allows you to remove the entire contents all at once.  You can then easily cut them without worrying about them sticking to the pan.  Grease parchment or foil with butter or cooking spray.

Melt butter, coconut oil and chocolates in a double boiler on the stove.  A double boiler is basically a metal or glass bowl that fits over, so it hovers, the pan of boiling water.  The boiling water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.  When melted, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a large mixing bowl, cream eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Mix in vanilla.

Using a spatula or plastic scraper, gently mix in melted chocolate until incorporated.  Slowly fold in dry ingredients mix.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, start working on the frosting.  Using the same bowl you used for a double boiler earlier, combine 3 large egg whites and sugar whisking together to form a thick slurry.  It will actually look kind of like a thick gooey mess.  Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk occasionally for 6-8 minutes.

Remove from heat and scrape into a medium sized mixing bowl and beat until mixture turns into a shiny white meringue and is cool to the touch, about 6-8 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and add butter in chunks, mixing well after each addition.  Once all the butter has been added, beat another 3-4 minutes or until its thick and smooth.

This is when you’ll want to melt the caramel.  You can do it on the stove or in the microwave.  Combine caramels and milk and heat until melted.

Pour melted caramel into buttercream and 1/2 teaspoon salt and beat to incorporate.  Stop and make sure to taste, adding more salt if needed.

When brownies are cool, remove from pan and frost.  Slice and serve.  Store remaining frosted brownies in the refrigerator.


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