There is no picture of these brownies in The Pastry Queen, but I knew from the title that I had to make them. I guess I’m a sucker for anything with the word “praline” in it. I thought the combination of flavors sounded really good. These brownies have a little bit of coffee in them, which I have been a fan of ever since I first made Ina’s Outrageous Brownies about two years ago. I was a bit doubtful at first, but then I realized how much coffee deepens the chocolate flavor. I am now a big fan of coffee in brownies, and really chocolate in general.
These brownies were amazing! They got rave reviews when I served them at our group dinner. Someone said it was “like a little piece of heaven” and I got several requests for the recipe. So you know they have to be good :) These were the perfect, ooey, gooey brownies. The praline topping was delicious. It was very sweet, and went well with the chocolate. Rebecca Rather says to cut these in small pieces because they are very rich. If you like rich desserts, this is definitely one to try!
Turbo-Charged Brownies with Praline Topping
Source: The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with foil, leaving several inches hanging over the short ends of the pan. Grease the foil with butter or cooking spray.
In a large metal bowl set over a pan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in both sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla all at once and stir until the batter is smooth and shiny. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and the boiling water; stir into the brownie mixture. Stir in the flour and salt.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it evenly. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the brownies have just begun to shrink slightly away from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake; the brownies should be slightly wet inside. Cool completely while making the praline topping, about 1 hour at room temp or 15 minutes in the freezer. Leave the oven at 350.
To make the topping: Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast fro 5-7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Break the nuts into large pieces.
Combine the cream, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and the butter has melted. Bring to a slow boil; boil without stirring about 6 minutes. (If the mixture starts to boil over, you’ve set the heat too high. Turn the burner down a notch.) Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the topping over the cooled brownies, spreading it with a knife or spatula to cover evenly.
Let the topping cool at least 15 minutes at room temp. Lift the brownies, still in the foil, out of the pan and cut them into pieces.