German chocolate brownies

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Did you know that German chocolate cake isn't actually German in origin? I didn't until I started researching the roots of the recipe. It's actually named for an American, Samuel German, who developed a new flavour of chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company. German chocolate cake is now known as any chocolate cake that's topped with a creamy frosting studded with pecans and coconut.

This delectable variation uses brownies rather than cake, and tops it with the traditional frosting. I always seem to have a few ounces of unsweetened chocolate sitting in my cupboard, and this is a wonderful way to use it up. Make sure you don't overbake these brownies: a fudgy base is perfect for the sweet frosting that ties it all together.

German Chocolate Brownies
(adapted from My Baking Addiction)


For the brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the frosting:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup half and half cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To make the brownies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt unsweetened chocolate and 3/4 cup butter together over a double boiler. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Once chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in 1 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add flour and stir just until combined.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Don't overbake - these brownies should be fudgy and slightly undercooked. Leave the oven on after you remove the brownies so you can toast the pecans and coconut.

Let brownies cool slightly before frosting.

To make the frosting:

Spread chopped pecans in a loaf pan, and spread coconut in a second loaf pan. Place in preheated oven, toasting the pecans for 8 - 10 minutes and the coconut for 5 - 10 minutes. You'll want to stir them every 2 - 3 minutes so they're evenly browned. (Alternatively, you could just use one loaf pan and toast the pecans and coconut back-to-back.) Remove each from the oven as they're golden brown and let cool.

In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolk and 4 Tbsp butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 5 - 7 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, pecans and coconut. Spread on brownies while still warm.


Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

You know it just clicked that I would probably love German Chocolate Cake now (especially made with brownies which I like better than chocolate cake). I didn't care for coconut as a kid but now... Yes, sometimes those light bulbs go on slow I guess ;-) Thanks for the inspiration (and interesting history)!

Monica said...

Seriously...this made my morning! Love these thick German chocolate brownies...the more versions of brownies, the better!!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I think I'd love this fudgy brownie version even better than the traditional cake! :)

Unknown said...

Oh I bet that topping would be good on just about anything. Love a good fudgy brownie.

That Girl said...

I feel like I knew that about German chocolate cake, but I'm not sure where I would have learned it.

Julie said...

Oh these look so good. I know I could eat way too many

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, interesting info about the German chocolate name. These brownies look delicious, I would have a hard time eating just one.

Gloria Baker said...

These sounds amazing Beth !!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

The combination of brownies and German chocolate cake all together…delicious.

Angie's Recipes said...

I always love that topping! This is rich, luscious and divine!

Summer said...

Yummy! Looking so enticing♥

grace said...

i would DESTROY that frosting! the brownie would just be the vehicle. :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

I didn't know how German chocolate cake got its name! Interesting -- always love learning new things. And I'd love these brownies, too -- that topping is magnificent!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I love German chocolate anything!! Your brownies look spectacular!!!

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