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How Do I Make My Brownies More Over the Top?

JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 01:02 PM

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. j
    j mather RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 01:23 PM

    Chocolate ganache on top -- adds decadence to anything.

    8 Replies
    1. re: j mather
      biondanonima RE: j mather Dec 19, 2011 01:25 PM

      +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
        JENNYBEEAY RE: j mather Dec 19, 2011 02:21 PM

        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
          danna RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 02:30 PM

          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
            JENNYBEEAY RE: danna Dec 20, 2011 07:15 PM

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

            1. re: danna
              chowser RE: danna Dec 20, 2011 07:37 PM

              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
                JENNYBEEAY RE: chowser Dec 20, 2011 07:39 PM

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

                1. re: chowser
                  danna RE: chowser Dec 28, 2011 07:17 AM

                  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
                    chowser RE: danna Dec 28, 2011 08:06 AM

                    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. p
            pine time RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 01:33 PM

            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
              JENNYBEEAY RE: pine time Dec 19, 2011 02:22 PM

              Wow! That defines decadence! Thanks!

              1. re: JENNYBEEAY
                pine time RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 20, 2011 05:15 AM

                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. jenscats5 RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 02:06 PM

              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
                JENNYBEEAY RE: jenscats5 Dec 19, 2011 02:22 PM

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

              2. m
                MRS RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 02:24 PM

                Peanut butter? Caramel?

                4 Replies
                1. re: MRS
                  cookie monster RE: MRS Dec 19, 2011 02:48 PM

                  +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
                    JENNYBEEAY RE: cookie monster Dec 20, 2011 07:16 PM

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

                    1. re: JENNYBEEAY
                      cookie monster RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 21, 2011 05:15 PM

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

                    2. re: cookie monster
                      HillJ RE: cookie monster Dec 28, 2011 04:19 PM

                      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. sbp RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 03:09 PM

                    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. m
                      megjp RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 03:36 PM

                      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
                        JENNYBEEAY RE: megjp Dec 20, 2011 07:17 PM

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

                      2. l
                        LUV_TO_EAT RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 19, 2011 05:14 PM

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

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                          JENNYBEEAY RE: LUV_TO_EAT Dec 20, 2011 07:18 PM

                          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
                            pine time RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 21, 2011 05:42 AM

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

                          2. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                            peppermint_sky RE: LUV_TO_EAT Dec 30, 2011 07:53 PM

                            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. livetocook RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 20, 2011 07:19 PM

                            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. t
                              travelerjjm RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 28, 2011 11:01 AM

                              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. c
                                catcherinthewheat RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 28, 2011 01:15 PM

                                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
                                  JENNYBEEAY RE: catcherinthewheat Dec 28, 2011 03:26 PM

                                  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
                                    catcherinthewheat RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 28, 2011 03:43 PM

                                    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. Honey Bee RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 28, 2011 02:01 PM

                                  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. m
                                    margib RE: JENNYBEEAY Dec 28, 2011 03:19 PM

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

                                    1. j
                                      jellyface RE: JENNYBEEAY Jan 6, 2012 01:54 AM

                                      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. d
                                        dblmnt RE: JENNYBEEAY Jan 6, 2012 09:21 AM

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

                                        1. a
                                          alysonlaurel RE: JENNYBEEAY Jan 6, 2012 09:43 AM

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

                                          1. eclecticsynergy RE: JENNYBEEAY Jan 7, 2012 07:36 AM

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

                                            1. skamama RE: JENNYBEEAY Jan 7, 2012 11:36 AM

                                              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.

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