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How Do I Make My Brownies More Over the Top?

I made what I thought was going to be a delectable brownie recipe and it turned out tasty but not 'decadent'. Does anyone have an idea of how I could maybe apply some sort of topping to take them a little more over the top? I don't have the time and the ingredients to remake them....


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  1. Chocolate ganache on top -- adds decadence to anything.

    8 Replies
    1. re: j mather

      +1. Any type of chocolate frosting will "richen" them up, but ganache is so silky and luscious - it just melts in your mouth!

      1. re: j mather

        Ganache! That is the answer I needed. Is it difficult to make and can it be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge??

        1. re: JENNYBEEAY

          ganache is just chocolate melted w/ creme, it's the easiest thing in the world to make. You can make it ahead, but really you should just pour it over the brownies while it's still warm and let it set up.

          OR....if you have espresso powder in the house, whip up some butter/powdered sugar old fashioned icing, flavor w/ espresso powder (smoothed out in a tblspn of hot water) , spread over brownies, cut, then top each brownie w/ a choc covered espresso bean.

          1. re: danna

            I'm salivating as I'm reading that! Sounds just delicious. Thanks

            1. re: danna

              Instead of pouring it on top, you can also dollop little balls of it all over the top before baking. It melts into little pockets. If you eat it warm, you get the oozy goodness. When it cools, you get a bite of truffle brownie.

              1. re: chowser

                Oh, sounds incredible! Who knew that there were so many ways to make an incredible brownie!

                1. re: chowser

                  gasp! what a great idea.

                  There's a lady who sells baked goods at our farmers mkt who makes a brownie w/ strawberries in it. I'm not sure how she does it, but they sort of sink into the brownie, creating a little pocket of under-cooked, strawberry flavored goo(dness).

                  1. re: danna

                    That sounds great, with strawberries or raspberries. I used to buy a short bread cookie (back when I was in college) w/ a strawberry baked in the middle. It was really good.

          2. 2 more layers: 1st is a chocolate chip, cream cheese, amaretto, powdered sugar conconction spread on, then chilled 1 hr. On top of that: ganache (also with a splash of amaretto) with toasted almonds on top. Decadent decadence.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pine time

              Wow! That defines decadence! Thanks!

              1. re: JENNYBEEAY

                Yeah, they really are insanely rich, as a friend described, but to me, there's no such thing as too rich. Keep 'em refrigerated, or the cream cheese layer gets all gushy.

                BTW, in the base brownie layer, I also add amaretto (so it's all 3 layers) and chopped almonds, and sometimes, extra chopped chocolate.

            2. I'll have to try & find the recipe - from Gourmet mag. many years ago.......a rock road brownie + a turtle brownie....decadent!

              Edit: here we go!

              Turtle brownies:

              Rocky Road:

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenscats5

                Those look great! I've saved those in my Epicurious recipe box for next time. Thanks!

                1. re: MRS

                  +1 for peanut butter. Last time I made brownies that I thought were kind of average I added a layer of peanut butter cream (peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, a little milk) and they became delicious.

                  1. re: cookie monster

                    Wow! What a great idea. You just added that layer on top?

                    1. re: JENNYBEEAY

                      Yes, like an icing basically. So good, if you like peanut butter.

                    2. re: cookie monster

                      melt PB in the microwave for 40 seconds
                      melt Nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds
                      drizzle both on plain brownies and create a swirl pattern with a fork
                      then add finely crushed peanuts to the top and slice

                  2. If you have any high quality cocoa powder (like King Arthur Black Cocoa), put a few tablespoons in a cup, add a bit of hot water and stir to make a "pudding." Add that in with your wet ingredients. Gives you more chocolate flavor than typical recipe.

                    1. Instant espresso powder (so it's not granular like ground coffee) always kicks up a nice rich chocolatey flavour. You don't necessarily need a tonne -- you don't necessarily want to taste the coffee -- but it really is astounding what it can do. You could mix it with some ground strong cinnamon, even, but either way just sprinkle it on thru a powdered sugar shaker (or if you're me, put it in a fine mesh strainer and lightly tap the side of that).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: megjp

                        That's a great tip. I'm going to get some of that for next time. Thanks.

                      2. It's Christmas...how bout some smashed up candy canes. Chocolate Mint brownies.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                          Oh what fun! I wish I'd thought of that before...maybe I can sprinkle them over the ganache. These boring brownies are looking up!

                          1. re: JENNYBEEAY

                            Or, another take on mint: chop some Andres mint chocolate candies, sprinkle over the still-warm brownies.

                          2. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                            For future batches of brownies, another chocolate*mint combination-- I just made junior mint brownies for the first time this week! Prepare the batter for a trusted brownie recipe. Pour half batter in pan, layer with junior mints, cover with remaining half of batter. Verrry minty if you pack in the junior mints as I did. Next time I will use my old favorite brownie recipe. This week I tried the one below (Dave Lebovitz/ originally Maida Heatter), and it was a little cakey for me. It was okay, but not thrilling, and much better chilled, as he mentiones.

                            The presence of the junior mints added some pizazz though, for sure, and everyone who tried these was oooohing and ahhhhing. He adds homemade peppermint patties (2 lbs!) in his batch I used exactly a pound of junior mints and the mintiness was intense enough.


                          3. Top with a pyramid of creme puffs, drizzled chocolate and white chocolate shavings?? Saw a new dessert at Costco a while back. It was a cream puff brownie cake. Totally sick. hahaha

                            1. A dribble of Kahlua, Tia Maria or other coffee liqueur is wonderful. I gave up espresso powder for the Kahlua. You could also make a coffee cream ganache, if you like coffee a lot, or just add a dribble of coffee liqueur or coffee extract to the chocolate ganache.,

                              1. Butter.
                                Ungodly amounts of it.
                                Chocolate too.

                                But yeah, like everyone else said, just add several layers of ganache in it, maybe creamcheese or peanut butter swirls. If you had white chocolate you could melt some of that with heavy cream and peppermint extract, maybe creme de menthe or green coloring, let it harden slightly, then top it off with chocolate ganache. Grasshopper brownies!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: catcherinthewheat

                                  Wow! You can just keep going! Do you layer on ganache and then let it set and then layer something else? I suppose you have to keep these cool so that the layers don't melt together, right?

                                  1. re: JENNYBEEAY

                                    Right, I'd let the brownies cool completely before going on with the layers. Then, I'd freeze it after pouring on the white chocolate for maybe 30 minutes and refrigerate it after the ganache.

                                2. I love to use the Baked brownie recipe then make a peanut butter buttercream. Using a biscuit cutter, I make circles and make brownie whoopie pies. Always a hit.

                                  1. The Food Network has a recipe for brownies with gold leaf..they look fab and over the top to me!!!

                                    1. Best one I came across in terms of being OTT was a salt caramel chili cherry brownie I had at Source in Bristol, UK (close second was a straight salt caramel one from a tiny bakery on 23rd in NW Portland OR).

                                      The great thing about these additions are that they do not distract from the intense chocolate kick but simply added more layers of flavour. Salt caramel - yeah I know it's getting cliched but it's still damn good, particularly when there are proper wedges of it embedded within a brownie that is sort of weeping butter out of its innards. Chili - classic, slow burn and flavour so avoid the birds eye version.

                                      1. I cut Russell Stover caramels in 1/4s and mix them into the batter & sprinkled on top. Creates pockets of caramelly deliciousness.

                                        1. I like to just melt chocolate chips and peanut butter to make a kind of frosting. Delicious and easy.

                                          1. A cream cheese swirl is super easy and visually appealing. Could jazz it a bit with Amaretto or Frangelico. Or Chambord.

                                            1. While working as the baker at an Alaska resort, I underbaked a full sheet pan of brownies, which I didn't discover until they had already cooled. I didn't want to put them back in as they were, so I mixed cream cheese, powdered sugar and mint extract, covered the top and swirled it somewhat into the other layer, then popped them back in the oven for a few more minutes. The cream cheese mixture became almost cheesecakey, and sank somewhat into the underlayer. People raved and some wanted the recipe.