Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Chocolate Brownie-Cake Caramel Almond Crunch

This week I am enjoying a ridiculously busy but truly satisfying holiday break with my three children. They are 7, 5 and 2 years old. We are practicing giving without receiving for the pure purpose of giving love. Yesterday we spent the day baking away and dropping off Stealthy Elves gifts. To see my kids taking turn in the rain sprinting to doorsteps to leave packages as little surprises for unsuspecting friends (of their choosing) filled my heart. They were so very excited and hoped they made everyone happy. There was little handwritten notes in each one my two older kids wrote "Love, Vaino Elves". 

Today these little munchkins took on a new task. I asked them to create a recipe. Whatever they wanted, but together. Of course immediately they all agreed it had to be chocolate! And the creation continued evolving as I asked them what else a good recipe has in it. Of course I offered guidance on quantities of each item but I asked them first if they thought we needed lots or a little. I can honestly say, these kids know how to bake! Mad skillz. So here for your enjoyment is an incredibly decadent dessert. Only eat this on a day when you refuse to allow guilt into your eating choices. Or you just want some hella good comfort food;)

Chocolate Brownie-Cake Caramel Almond Crunch

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. 


Brownie-Cake portion
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14oz) coconut cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
2 tbsp butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Almond Topping
1 cup almonds
1 cup white chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup half and half
2 tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Begin with a saucepan heated to low-medium heat. Melt your semisweet chocolate chips and coconut cream until blended completely. Add your butter and stir until dissolved. Add in brown sugar and vanilla. Take off heat and allow to cool. In a kitchen machine whisk your 5 eggs until slightly frothy. In a separate bowl sift your flour, salt and baking powder. Once the chocolate sauce mix is cool enough to not cook the eggs add in the sauce with eggs, stir until combined, slowly add in your dry mixture and blend until smooth. It should be right between the thickness of a cake and a brownie batter. 
In a food processor add your almonds and white chocolate chips and blend until desired size. Ours was not as fine as almond meal, we wanted a bit of chunkiness. Sprinkle this all over the top of your brownie-cake.
Butter a 9x13 glass pan, pour in batter and cook on your low rack at 350 F for 25-30 minutes. Take it out when your knife test shows just a little bit of batter on it. You want it nice and moist but not undercooked. 
Once your brownie-cake is finished allow it to cool while you prepare your caramel sauce.
 In a sauce pan add in butter, brown sugar and half and half. Cook on medium to low heat until dissolved, whisking the entire time. It will start to get a little bubbly around 5 minutes then add in your vanilla extract and salt. I keep whisking until it thickens up, just a few more minutes then remove from heat and drizzle over top of your brown-cake and serve right away while warm or even add some vanilla ice-cream if you so choose. Enjoy and Happy Holidays from my kickass baking geniuses!

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