01 April 2013

German Chocolate Brownies


I had a request the other day for a German Chocolate cake recipe to be posted.  I then had to explain, and you may have noticed this, that I have not posted any regular chocolate cake recipes on the blog.  I do have a wonderful chocolate cake recipe that you could eat your weight in, but I haven't ever given it out.  Well, my mom and my best friend have it, but they're family.  Before I started writing the blog I was notoriously iron-fisted with handing our recipes.  There are a couple of recipes I still can't bring myself to hand out and my chocolate cake is one of them.  Maybe one day I'll be able to, but I'm just not there yet.

German chocolate is actually named for its inventor, Sam German.  They honored him by naming the baking chocolate he invented after him.  He invented German's Baking Chocolate in the mid 1800's, but the cake, along with its caramel-coconut-pecan frosting, didn't appear until 1957.  That's when Sam German's chocolate became a household name and his name became forever connected to the cake.

I didn't use Sam German's chocolate to make these brownies -- I like my brownies deeper and richer than German chocolate.  I did, however, incorporate my version of the frosting, since it may well be the best part anyway.  At least it's my favorite part.  I also love the idea of getting all those flavors -- chocolate, coconut, caramel, and pecans -- in a brownie, which is so much easier and quicker than a big ol' layer cake anyway.


The frosting is easy as pie.  Just put some sweetened condensed milk, an egg yolk, and some butter in a saucepan.  Stir and cook it until it's thick/  It won't turn totally caramel colored in the saucepan, but it will turn that lovely color while it's baking in the oven.


One of the things I love about brownies is that all you need is a bowl and a wooden spoon.  No big mixer needed.  I feel like I step back in time a little every time I make them.






Scrape all your batter into a baking dish.  If you aren't afraid of the raw eggs, you could eat the batter off the spoon.  That's what my husband did.


Plop all the frosting on top of the unbaked batter.  As you can see, you don't have to be at all precise about this.  Swirl the frosting and the batter together with a spoon, a knife, or a fork (whatever you have handy) and make a gloppy, swirly mess like you see in the picture below.


Stick it all in the oven, bake it, and let it cool for a while.  Try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting.

German Chocolate Brownies
makes about 30 brownies


For the caramel coconut frosting:
1 egg yolk
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

for the brownie batter:
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut

To make the frosting, combine the egg yolk, condensed milk, and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir almost constantly until the mixture is thickened.  Stir in the pecans, coconut, and vanilla; set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 12x8" baking dish; set aside.

To make the brownie batter, combine the hot melted butter and the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  Stir in the flour mixture until the dry ingredients are barely wet.  Stir in the pecans and coconut until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then pour the frosting on top.  Using a knife, spoon, or fork, swirl the batter and frosting until they are swirled together, but not completely combined.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the brownies are barely set and the frosting is golden brown.  Let cool almost completely before serving.




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