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Score serious brownie points with these seven desserts

Score serious brownie points with these seven desserts

Ever since Julia Roberts had to compete with Hugh Grant for the last after dinner brownie in Notting Hill, the world has embraced the brownie dessert platter with new-found enthusiasm. But this popular sweet treat’s fame is far from instant.

Going back to the very first bite, brownies were created in 1893 by the pastry chef of the Palmer House Hotel, a prominent Chicago landmark. Bertha Palmer, a local socialite, and the hotel owner’s wife was organising the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition and requested an event snack as decadent as chocolate cake, but that could easily be held in one’s hand. 

The resulting bite-size Palmer House Brownie inspired a series of similar recipes, but the first modern-style American chocolate brownie recipe was only published a decade later in the 1904 edition of the American cookbook, Home Cookery (1904, Laconia, NH). 

Brownies have since become a popular home bake due to their high comfort food appeal, and here at CAB Foods we love to make your baking life as comfortable as possible. Our popular CAB Foods American Brownie Premix makes baking a perfect batch of brownies a piece of cake. Simply stir the content of the pack by hand with four eggs and 250ml oil, and you’re ready to pop a tray in the oven.

That being said, CAB Foods American Brownie Premix can be baked and prepped in many different ways to create a variety of scrumptious treats that would make Julia Roberts battle it out at any dinner table. 

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Note: Each recipe requires one pack of CAB Foods American Brownie Premix to create, so this, as well as the 250ml oil and 4 eggs you’ll need to make your standard batter isn’t listed. Anything else you’ll need to follow these recipes is conveniently listed under the Extra bits and bobs section. 

cabfoods-choc-dipped-salted-caramel-brownie-bombs

Choc-Dipped Salted Caramel Brownie Bombs

Each of these decadent little brownie cakes packs quite a punch, but we promise you won’t stop until the very last bite. Serve with ice cream and strong coffee at your next dinner event (Recipe makes 10)

Extra bits and bobs

A 500g tub of CAB Foods Chocolate Dip

180g Caramel chocolate broken into small chunks

1 teaspoon course salt

Caramel Coated Popcorn to decorate

 

To Prepare:

Stir up your CAB Foods American Brownie Batter as per packet instructions and bake in a greased 24x37cm baking pan so you end up with a bake roughly 2 cm high.

Once cooled, use a 60mm food ring to carefully cut circles out of your brownie bake. Note: Don’t throw away your offcuts! Brownie crumbs have many delicious uses in crusts, crumbs and cake pops.

Melt your caramel chocolate in the microwave, stopping every 20 seconds to stir. Stopping and stirring is very important even before you see the chocolate starting to melt as a hot spot can quickly lead to burn. 

Once you have a smooth melt, spoon a tablespoon of caramel chocolate onto one of your brownie disks and sprinkle with rough salt. Place another brownie disk on top so you have a round, salted caramel sandwich. Repeat this until you have used all your brownie disks. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Once your brownies are chilled, arrange them on a wire rack over a stainless-steel tray. Prepare your chocolate dip by warming it in the microwave. Once again, you’ll need to stop every 20 seconds to stir until you have a smooth liquid drip. Glaze your brownie by pouring the melted dip over each one until it is covered on all sides. You can re-use the dip that ends up in your tray by transferring it to your pouring jug and popping it back in the microwave for a few seconds. 

Top each of your Choc-Dipped Salted Caramel Brownie Bombs with a few kernels of caramel popcorn and let them stand untouched at room temperature for a while so that your chocolate dip glaze can settle and form a delectable crust. 

 

cabfoods-double-chocolate-smothered-brownie-stack

Double Chocolate Mocha Brownie Stack

For an intimate and informal dessert experience, serve this ultra-decadent stack of brownies in the middle of your table and give each guest a fork so they can just tuck in at random. For an extra of flavour punch, add 30ml of hazelnut liqueur to the simple syrup ingredients. (Recipe makes 6)

Extra bits and bobs

200g Dark chocolate

90g Granulated sugar

100ml strong filtered coffee

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

 

To Prepare:

Bake your CAB Foods American Brownie Batter as per the packet instructions in a greased 30cm loaf pan. Bear in mind your baking time will likely be longer than the instructions indicate due to the extra depth. Check your bake with a testing pen after 45 minutes at 180C. If you see raw batter come out, give the bake another 10 minutes at 150C.

Once done, allow your loaf to thoroughly cool on a wire rack. Use a small saucepan to prepare a rich coffee simple syrup while you wait by bringing your coffee and sugar to a low simmer. Once all the sugar has dissolved, remove your simple syrup from the heat and add the vanilla extract. 

Allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature. If you’re adding liqueur, this is the time to stir it into your syrup. Spoon the syrup over your brownie bake very slowly so that every delicious drop can soak in.

Keep your brownie bake covered at room temperature until it’s time for dessert. Just before serving, cut large blocks from the loaf and stack them on a plate. Melt your dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds to prevent burn. Drizzle the chocolate over your stack of brownies and gobble them up right then and there while all that lovely chocolate is still molten and delicious. 

 

cabfoods-coffee-mousse-brownie-cups

Espresso Cream Brownie Cups with Brownie Macaron Toppings (see next recipe)

This recipe creates the most delicate and fancy high tea treat, ideal for a sweet pièce de résistance at a cocktail affair or a special event like a bridal shower. Making this recipe isn’t half as complicated as it looks though. 

The trick to getting the layering perfect is to work slowly with a piping bag and give the cup a few knocks as you go to let the mouse and cream settle into place. This being said, it does take practice to get right, so you might as well make the first one for yourself to tuck into as you go. (Recipe makes 24-30, depending on the container used)

Extra bits and bobs 

CAB Foods Chocolate Mousse Premix

650ml Fresh Cream

2 Teaspoons of instant espresso dissolved in 20ml water

4 Large egg yolks

1 ½ Teaspoons cornflour

80g Castor sugar

Cocoa powder and edible pearls for decoration

Clear serving cups 

 

To Prepare:

Bake a batch of CAB Foods American Brownies from scratch or use any brownie offcuts and leftovers you have available. Brownies that are a day or two old actually crumb better than fresh ones. Cut your brownies into 1cm strips and dry them in the oven at 120C for 60 minutes. Flake the dried brownie strips with your fingers until you get a fine crumb and set half aside for your macarons. Divide the remaining crumbs into your serving containers so each gets a little layer of brownie love.

For the espresso cream, you’ll need 250ml of cream heated in a saucepan to a low simmer. Remove it from the heat and stir in your espresso solution. Whisk your egg yolks, cornflour, and sugar together in a separate bowl until well-blended before slowly adding it to the cream. Return your saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until you feel the cream thicken. Turn off the heat and allow your espresso cream to cool completely before transferring it to a piping bag. 

In the meantime, use your remaining cream to whip up your CAB Foods Chocolate Mousse as per the instructions on the packet and scoop it into a large piping bag. Snip the front 5mm off the piping bag with scissors and carefully fill each of your serving containers to about 2/3 from the top. Pop your cups in the fridge for about 20 minutes so the mousse can settle. 

Once your espresso cream is chilled you can use it to fill your cups up to the brim. Use a palette knife to even out the tops and pop them back in the fridge for another 10 minutes or so before finishing each dessert cup off with a dusting of cocoa and some edible pearls.

 

cabfoods-brownie-macarons 

Brownie Macarons

Although these Brownie Macaron as toppings would take your Espresso Cream Brownie Cups to the next level of chic, you can most definitely serve the two treats separately. Most bakers cower in fear of baking macarons as the shells are notoriously prone to flop, but CAB Foods Macaron Premix takes all the risk out of the equation. Even a beginner baker can achieve the perfect pearly finish and fluffy feet that are the markers for a great macaron.  

Extra bits and bobs for Brownie Macarons

CAB Foods Macaron Premix

CAB Foods Chocolate Flavoured Icing Mix

400g Cream cheese

2 Tablespoons of dark cocoa powder

Chocolate essence

 

To prepare: 

Use your Cab Foods Macaron Premix as per the instructions on the packet to whip up a standard macaron batter. Add your dark cocoa and about 4 or 5 drops of chocolate essence and mix with an electric whisk on low speed until well blended. Pipe uniform blobs of your macaron batter onto a baking tray covered with baking paper or a silicone sheet, leaving room in between for your batter blobs to settle without touching.

Rest and bake as per instructions, and allow to cool completely before touching them.

While you wait you can prepare your filling. Start by softening your cream cheese with an electric beater and slowly adding your CAB Foods Chocolate Flavoured Icing Mix. Beat the mixture on high speed for 5 minutes. Add a cup of dry brownie crumbs and slowly fold it into your filling so that the crumbs don’t get broken down any further. 

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and use it to fill your chocolate macaron shells. 

To use these Brownie Macarons as toppers for your Espresso Cream Brownie Cups, carefully push a toothpick halfway into the filling part of each finished macaron. Stick the toppers into your finished cups just before serving and simply bask in the astonished reaction from your guests.

 

cabfoods-drive-me-nutty-brownie-bars

Drive Me Nutty Brownie Bars

These brownie bars are nice and compact but pack a punch of flavour. We recommend baking a batch every weekend as a picnic snack or lunchbox treats for the week to ahead. (Recipe makes 16 to 25 brownies, depending on what size you cut them)

Extra bits and bobs

2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter

200g Milk chocolate

150g Pecan Nuts, roughly chopped

 

To Prepare:

Mix your CAB Foods American Brownie Batter as per the packet instructions, adding the peanut butter. Once you have a smooth batter, add 2/3 of your pecan nuts and give it a final stir. Bake your brownies in a greased 24x36cm pan lined with baking paper.

Allow your bake to cool completely and turn it over so the baking paper is on top and the crusty side is now the bottom. Carefully peel the baking paper off. 

Melt your chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds to prevent burn. Spread the melted chocolate over the top (soft) side of your bake and sprinkle with the rest of your pecan nuts. 

Refrigerate your bake for about 15 minutes so the chocolate can harden before cutting your bars. 

 

cabfoods-be-my-cherrie-brownies 

Be My Cherrie Brownies

Filled with all the good things, baking these overly decadent brownies for your romantic pursuit is a highly recommended way of winning their heart, once and for all. (Recipe makes 9)

Extra bits and bobs

200g Dark chocolate

150g Pecan Nuts, roughly chopped

250g of whole red cherries

CAB Foods Heart Sprinkles to decorate

 

To prepare: 

Mix your CAB Foods American Brownie Premix as normal, adding all your cherries and pecan nuts at the end and giving the batter a final stir. Pour your batter into a 20x20cm baking pan lined with baking paper and bake for 55 minutes at 180C or until the bake looks firm. 

Let your bake cool and turn it over to remove the baking paper. You’ll notice the side that was covered is very moist from the cherry syrup. Leave your bake upside down so that the crusty side is the new bottom. This makes it a lot less messy to eat the brownies by hand. 

Melt your chocolate in the microwave stopping every 20 seconds to stir. Spread the melted chocolate all over the gooey top of your bake to seal in all the lovely syrupy goodness and sprinkle with CAB Foods Hearts Sprinkles before the chocolate sets. 

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes so the chocolate can set and cut into large squares for your loved one to devour while they think of you. 

 

cabfoods-white-chocolate-superstar-brownies

White Chocolate Superstar Brownies

As the name implies, brownies tend to be rather brown. Besides the superstar shape, what makes these pretty brownies so refreshing is all the white chocolate creating a gorgeous visual contrast. White Chocolate Superstar Brownies are ideal for events where you want the delicious taste of brownies but prefer the appearance of a finer bake. Think baby showers, lunch with the girls, or a homemade high tea. (Recipe makes 12)

Extra bits and bobs

300g White chocolate discs

2.5ml Vanilla extract

White edible pearls

Gold sprinkles 

CAB Foods Gold Stars decorations

A large star cookie cutter

 

To Prepare:

Stir 200g of the white chocolate disks into your regular brownie batter and bake in a 24x36cm pan. Allow your bake to cool completely before turning it out on a cutting board. Use your cookie cutter to cut star-shaped brownies. 

Melt the remaining 100g of your white chocolate in the microwave stopping every 20 seconds to stir. Once you have a smooth melt, add the vanilla extract to the chocolate and mix well. Pour the chocolate mixture into a piping bag and put one side. 

Lay your brownie stars on a tray or silicone sheet and have all your decorations ready to go. Cut a very small tip off your piping bag and go to town on your brownie stars, making a swirly pattern with your chocolate. Before the chocolate sets, use your sprinkles, edible pearls and CAB Foods Gold Stars decorations to pretty up your brownies. 

You can get everything you need to create these stunning brownies, and just about any other bake you could want at CAB Foods. We have five stores sprinkled over the Western Cape, and a light and fluffy online shop ready to deliver your order anywhere in South Africa. 

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