So here’s the thing: Brownies are awesome. So awesome that I've decided they needed to be the star in a spectacular dessert. And the brownie layer cake was born. In this recipe, I bake two pans of fudgy, decadent brownies (topped with chocolate chips and chopped nuts) and sandwich them together with whipped cream. The finished cake looks impressive--and tastes even better.
Makes 4 servings
Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
- 3½ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs, whisked lightly to combine
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 20 cm square baking pans and line them with parchment paper, leaving a 2,50 cm overhang on the sides (see note).
- In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, combine the oil with 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Place the bowl over a medium-size pot of simmering water and stir until melted, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Whisk the sugar and brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs gradually, mixing until well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and pecans evenly over the batter in the two pans. Bake until the brownies are set at the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely.
- Once the brownies are cool, whip the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar to soft peaks. Remove one brownie layer from its pan and place on a serving plate. Spoon half the whipped cream on top of the brownie layer. Remove the second layer from its pan and place on top of the first layer. Finish with the remaining whipped cream on top.
- Note: If you have only one 20 cm square pan, reserve half the batter and bake it after the first brownie layer comes out of the oven. You can also use a 23 cm square pan, but the layers will be a little thinner; reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes.
Cupcakes that frost themselves. Here’s how it works: We start by making brownie batter, which is fast and doesn’t require a mixer. Then, when the cupcakes are almost fully baked, we top each one with a marshmallow, return the pan to the oven and watch those white clouds of sweetness melt over the surface.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Start to finish: 40 minutes
- 140 grams unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chunks (dark or milk chocolate)
- 12 jumbo marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 12 cavities of a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped unsweetened chocolate with the butter. Place over a double boiler and heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted.
- Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, and mix to combine. Add the eggs; mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour and salt; mix until fully combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cavity three-quarters of the way full.
- Bake until the surface is crackly and set, 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and top each cupcake with a marshmallow. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the marshmallows melt over the cupcakes, 3 minutes more.
- Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and place on a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
- Serving tip: The best way to warm up a cupcake is to cut off the bottom half and place it on top of the marshmallow, forming a sandwich. Then microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds to melt the chocolate and marshmallow for a gooey treat.