This is astoundingly delicious. You can feel your arteries clogging and you don’t care, as you reach for another piece. The Goddess loves German Chocolate Cake, but when she says this, well, let’s just say that she’s moved on to the dark side. Dark chocolate. Yeah. What were you thinking anyway? I ran across a recipe for a German chocolate sort of thing and I thought that seemed like a decent idea. But, of course, I totally messed with it and changed it around, adding things and taking things away. This is the end result. First, let’s talk about browned butter, that nutty, delicious elixir that absolutely makes everything taste better. When I do this, I do an entire pound of butter. Once done, it keeps in fridge for weeks (it won’t last that long) or freeze it. A couple of things to note—use a shiny pan. If you choose a dark pan, how are you going to know when the butter butter has become toasty brown? The line between brown and burned is pretty thin. So, shiny pan. And equally important, DO NOT walk away from the kitchen!!! You don’t have to stand over the pan, but you need to keep a close eye on it and give it a good swirl, frequently. Once done, you may cool the mixture to store it, or use it hot, as we do here. Now, you’re going to pour some hot brown butter over chocolate chips, nuke ’em (or 50% power) for a minute or two and let them stand. You want the chips to melt. Whisk this until smooth; add the sugar and whisk again. Let this cool a bit before the adding the eggs, along with the finely ground espresso, the coffee and the vanilla; whisk together until blended. Add to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture; stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt; add to the mixture. Stir in half of the pecans and pour the batter into a buttered and floured pan. Sprinkle the rest of the pecans over the top. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes…the center should still be slightly soft. The torte will be puffed up a bit, but will deflate as it cools. Cool completely…you can make this the day before serving, cover it well and store at room temp.
For the icing: Place the yolks in a small-ish saucepan; I used the same pan that I browned the butter in. Whisk the yolks until they are thickened and pale, a couple of minutes; add the sugars and beat well. Whisk in the evaporated milk and heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add the browned butter and cook until the mixture comes the boil. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes golden brown, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the extract, coconut and pecans. Cool to warm room temperature before icing the torte. The icing will be very thick. Pour the icing over the torte; let stand until the icing sets. I give it at least an hour, but usually I finish it several hours before serving. Excellent served as it, but it’s pretty amazing with really good vanilla ice cream or bourbon-flavored unsweetened whipped cream. And of course, I served the torte and when it was gone, I realized I had taken no pictures of a nice little slice of heaven.
Rich, Decadent Brownie Torte with Coconut-Pecan Icing
- For the torte:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted browned butter (3/4 stick)
- 3 cups dark chocolate chips (18 ounces)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon extremely finely ground espresso beans
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract or paste
- 3 tablespoons strong coffee, rum or brandy
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
- For the Coconut-Pecan Icing:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup browned butter (or plain, but why?)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
- 2 1/4 cups flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
For the torte:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9½-inch tart pan (I used a spring-form pan) with a removable bottom with cooking spray and lightly flour the pan, shaking to remove excess.
Place the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan; add the butter and cook over medium-low. The butter will melt, foam up and begin to pick up color. You want it to brown well, just short of burning. It will take about 3-6 minutes for this amount of butter. Immediately pour the browned butter over the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% powder for about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture and if not yet completely melted, return to the microwave for another minute. Stir until the mixture is smooth; add the sugar and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the eggs and add to the chocolate mixture along with the finely ground espresso, the coffee and the vanilla; whisk together until blended. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture; stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt; add to the mixture. Stir in half of the pecans and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rest of the pecans over the top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes (it took my oven 45 minutes); the middle is somewhat set but still soft. Do not over-bake. The torte will deflate slightly as it cools. Cool completely. Pour the cooled icing over the top. Let stand until set; serve cake at room temperature.
For the icing: Add the yolks to a small saucepan (I used the same pan that I browned the butter in. Using a whisk, beat the yolks until they are thickened and pale, a couple of minutes. Pour in the evaporated milk and the sugars; beat well. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the browned butter and cook until the mixture comes the boil. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes golden brown, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the extract, coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature before using.
Rich, Decadent Brownie Torte with Coconut-Pecan Icing Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.