This is it. It's an outstanding homemade brownie cake recipe from scratch.
It’s funny to be at a table full of adults all grinning and nodding as they merrily eat their way to second helpings of this scrumptious cake.
Is it the dense, dark, very chocolaty cake - a little sticky and a little chewy in the way good fudgy brownies often can be - that makes them so happy?
Or is it the topping - a layer of soft, stretchy, sweet, gooey caramel (like a Rollo candy) pebbled with lots of salted peanuts? Awesome is all I get out of them.
CARAMEL AND PEANUT TOPPED BROWNIE CAKE RECIPE
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 TBS) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
3 TBS corn syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 TBS corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup salted peanuts
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch round spring form pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out excess. Line the bottom of the pan with wax or parchment paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, soda and salt together; set aside. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat the butter and chocolate in the bowl, stirring occasionally, until it is just melted - you don’t want it to separate. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together until well blended. Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture. Still working with the whisk, gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. You will have a thick, smooth, shiny batter. Pour into the prepared pan and jiggle to even out the batter.
Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean (you may find some moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick). Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the pan. Remove the sides of the pan. Cool the cake to room temperature.
When the brownie cake is completely cooled, invert it, remove the base of the pan and peel off the paper. Wash and dry the spring form pan and return the cake to the pan and refasten the sides around the cake.
BROWNIE CAKE TOPPING
Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir just to combine the ingredients and heat on medium-high. Heat without stirring, until the caramel turns deep amber, 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. To test the color of the caramel, drop a bit on a white plate. If it’s too pale, it won’t have much taste.
Lower the heat and stand back from the saucepan (the caramel will bubble and splatter) when adding the cream and butter. When the bubbling slows down, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps. Add the peanuts and pour the caramel into a 1 quart Pyrex cup or heatproof bowl.
You may have extra caramel, but you want to get all the peanuts on the top of the cake, so spoon them out of the hot caramel and onto the cake. Now pour or spoon on enough caramel to cover all the nuts. You will have a layer approximately 1/4 inch high.
Allow the topping to set at room temperature - approximately 20 minutes - before serving. Keep the leftover caramel at room temperature and make a caramel sauce. Serve the brownie cake with vanilla ice cream and top with the sauce.
When serving the brownie cake, you should be able to run a blunt knife between the caramel and the pan and simply remove the sides of the pan.
If this isn’t the case, run a hairdryer or wrap the sides with a towel moistened with hot water. Bring the whole cake to the table on a platter, so that you some “oohs.” Now hide that brownie cake recipe - they will be begging you for it.
This is an excerpt from "Baking, From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan - She is a genius. Purchase her book - you won't be sorry.