Monday, October 16, 2017

Coconut Bounty Bar Brownies

As a kid (and even as a teenager), I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house (Nonna's and Nonno's).

They had 11 grandchildren and man, we must've drove them crazy. We destroyed the backyard making pies out of mud and dug up her rose bushes... We flooded the yard with our tiny blow-up pool and pretty much ruined their tiny lawn. Despite all of that her magical roses flourished every year.

Once in a while Nonna would give us a couple of dollars each and sent us to the convenience store around the corner. She said we could buy whatever we wanted and I always, I mean ALWAYS, bought Bounty Bar. I guess now looking back this seems kind of strange for a kid... coconut is polarizing to some people and most kids go for colourful Smarties, Kit Kat or gummy bears... I love those things too (except the Smarties - gross. M&M's for life!)

But I just loved the soft chewy coconut covered in chocolate. I still do, except now I make them at home. That's not to say I'd turn down a Bounty Bar if you offered one. So please don't stop offering...

These brownies re-create that candy bar in square form. Imagine dipping these entirely in dark chocolate? Whoa.

I have other plans (re: chocolate sauce) but a hard chocolate shell sounds pretty incredible too.

The best thing about this recipe, like most recipes, is that it is easy and extremely rewarding. The brownie base comes together in a few easy steps with unsweetened chocolate. They are dark and rich to balance the extra sweetness we need to make that chewy coconut filling.

Normally when I use unsweetened chocolate to make brownies I increase the granulated sugar in the recipe to account for the lack of sugar in the chocolate. For example, my standard go-to fudge brownie recipe uses 1 cup of sugar with dark or bittersweet chocolate that has between 60 and 70% cocoa solids. That means the remaining 30-40% is sugar. So this brownie batter will a bit on the darker side, but still plenty sweet enough to be delicious (I mean, it's still 1 cup of sugar!).

The main reason why I often advise people not to reduce sugar in a recipe for the simple sake of sweetness is that sugar plays a very important function - it keeps things moist.

To make fudgy brownies you need a certain amount of sugar, otherwise they can turn out cakey and dry. In this recipe the added layer of coconut cream cheese custard batter helps to weigh down and almost insulate the brownie batter so that there is less chance of it drying out and provides a bit more insurance.

Wait. Let's roll back a second. Coconut cream cheese custard batter. Yes! So dang good.

Think of this as brownie meets macaroon - and then imagine macaroon flirts with cheesecake. Too many good things going on! It's almost hard to handle, but I'm sure we can manage.

I used unsweetened coconut for this recipe, but for an extra sticky chewy layer you can use sweetened coconut if that's what you have on hand.

Then I made chocolate sauce to pour over top because, look right down below:

Those drips. That's why.

Big Love
xo Christina.

Coconut Bounty Bar Brownies
makes 16 squares

For the brownie mixture:
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter
3 oz (85g) unsweetened chocolate
½ tsp salt
½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour

For the filling:
4 oz (113g) cream cheese
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ cup (40g) unsweetened shredded coconut

For the topping:
2 oz (56g) milk chocolate
2 tbsp (30ml) 10% cream
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the brownies, first beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until slightly pale and thick. Let stand while you work on the chocolate. 

Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave and stir until smooth. Add this warm mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to blend evenly. Add flour and stir in until combined. Spread half of the batter evenly into prepared pan and place in the freezer.

For the filling, beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Stir in egg until will combined and then stir in coconut. Pour this mixture over the firm brownie layer and spread it out evenly. Drizzle remaining brownie batter over top and spread it out just a bit to cover.

Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and the surfaces look shiny Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

To make the topping, combine chopped chocolate, cream, cocoa and salt in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 20 second bursts, stirring between, until the mixture bubbles up. Stir until smooth and then chill until thick. Pour over brownies just before serving.
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