Cocoa Brownie Cake

WINTER IS NOT A SEASON, IT’S AN OCCUPATION.”  Sinclair Lewis

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

Is it me, or does everything feel like so much more of an effort in the winter?

Walking to the bus stop, hauling my recyclables out to the curb, stopping to put gas in the car . . . . . these 5 minute activities feel like 20 when it’s cold outside!  Just getting ready to go to work in the morning feels like an occupation.  The days of grabbing my purse and keys are gone for a while.  Now I have to consider my coat, boots, warm socks, hat, scarf, mittens and chapstick!

Do you feel like you are working double duty in the winter?  I do!  Especially on those days when I have to shovel my way out the door before I can get anywhere!

I take a bus and a train back and forth to my job.  It’s about an hour and a half commute one way.  I leave when it’s dark.  I get home when it’s dark.  And a warm cup of cocoa really hits the spot some nights.  And in the winter months, baking should not feel like another of my occupations!

This sweet, chewy cocoa brownie cake is just about effortless!  It’s made in one bowl.  You can eat it straight out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream.  Or you can add a layer of chocolate ganache and top it with loads of whipped cream!  And perfect with a cup of cocoa!

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

Lately I am hooked on Guittard Grand Cacao ‘Drinking Chocolate’.  Have you ever tried it?  It’s a rare red Dutch process cocoa powder and ground chocolate.  And I can’t get enough of it!  The recipe for this cocoa cake was ever so slightly adapted from their cocoa brownie recipe on the side of the can.

 

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

And actually, pairing a slice of this fudgey, brownie cake with a cup of ‘drinking chocolate’ is heavenly.  I mean, really, if you are going to comfort yourself with chocolate on a chilly evening, you might as well do it up right!

 

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

So pour yourself a cup of cocoa, and get ready to make the easiest, chewiest, fudgiest brownies you will ever taste!

 

Servings:  1 (8 inch pan’s worth) of brownies.  How many slices you want to create is up to you!

Level of Difficulty:  1 bowl and easy!

 

COCOA BROWNIE CAKE:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups of Guittard Grand Cacao
  • 1/2 cup of unsifted all purpose flour

Center your oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F.  Spray the inside of an 8 inch pan with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper.  You could use a square or a round pan.  For this cake, I used an 8 inch round pan with 2 inch sides.

Cut the butter into several pieces and place it in a large glass microwave safe bowl.  Microwave it for 30-45 seconds until it has melted.  Stir in the sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs, by hand, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.  Mix in the cocoa, and then flour, until everything is well blended.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  It is best not to over bake.  And the brownie may sink just a bit.  That’s okay!  Cool completely.

If you are simply making brownies, cut them when they are at room temperature.  If you are making the cake, slide an offset spatula, or knife around the edges of the pan.  Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper.  Now on to the ganache!

 

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

  • 6 ounces of chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • 6 ounces of heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Place the chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl.  Heat the cream over medium high heat until it just begins to simmer.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap.  You don’t have to stir it yet, just let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then whisk the chocolate and cream until it is smooth.  Add the Tablespoon of butter, the vanilla and a pinch of salt.  Whisk until everything is combined.  At this point, I find it easier to pour the ganache into a measuring cup.   Let the ganache sit at room temperature.  It will thicken on its own over time.  You can also place it in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to hasten the process.   Place your cake on the wire rack with the top up.  Put a piece of aluminum foil or parchment underneath.  Pour the ganache onto the cake, starting in the center.  It will naturally flow and drip over the sides.  Let the cake sit at room temperature until the ganache is set.  Now on to the whipped cream!

 

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 of a cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons of  cold water
  • 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin

Honestly, if you are making this to serve right away, I would just whip the first 3 ingredients until stiff peaks form.  If you want to garnish your cake and you want to be sure your whipped cream is more stable, then add the gelatin.  What you will do is place the water in a small microwave safe bowl.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let is sit for a minute.  Then place the gelatin in the microwave for about 10 seconds.  It will liquify again.  Let it cool down, but don’t let it congeal again.  Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Mix on low-medium until the sugar is blended and then mix on medium.  When the cream starts to thicken, add the cooled gelatin.  Turn your mixer to high and whisk until stiff peaks form.  Pipe it onto your cake on top of the ganache or serve it on the side if you would like.

 

 

Cocoa Brownie Cake | From My Sweet Heart

 

For a fudgey brownie, these are by far, my most favorite recipe.  These are most definitely getting me through my winter occupation, and I hope you will enjoy them, too!

 

Need to take more solace in chocolate?  Try these quick and easy recipes:

 

Coffee Toffee Truffles | From My Sweet Heart

Coffee Toffee Truffles

Chocolate Risotto

Chocolate Risotto

Chocolate Coconut Pie | From My Sweet Heart

Chocolate Coconut Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. This looks so decadent and perfect, Anne! I agree, winter is way more work – this would be a perfect reward for standing in the cold getting gas :)

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Anna! And I love your resolution to bake more bread this year. And your molasses oat sandwich bread looks fabulous! : )

  2. These look pretty close to perfect!

  3. o my so fudgy and chocolatey…this looks simply divine!

  4. Anne, that cake looks rich, decadent and utterly beautiful! I feel so bad for your daily commute… wow. I complain about walking my kids to school in the bad weather.. but you have it much tougher. I hope spring comes early for all of us…. and stays a long long time. There’s nothing like spring because gone are the coats and scarves and the sweating from summer’s heat hasn’t yet begun. :)

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Ramona! I’m looking forward to lightening up, too! One good way is with your beautiful Marsala shrimp with mango salsa! That looks awesome! : )

  5. Ooh this is so indulgent, I’m checking my local stores for that cocoa. Good cocoa makes such a difference to really good baking. Here’s to a great luxuriant winter. GG

  6. Yum, this sounds incredible! I wish I had a piece to get me through this afternoon!

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Jessica! But for me….a big bowl of your crock pot buffalo chicken dip will see me through the day! : )

  7. Yes Anne, I agree, everything is more difficult in the cold months but I think that this delicious looking brownie cake could cure just about anything that ails a soul!

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Chris….and I would love to start my long day with some of your pretty and luscious red grapefruit and orange marmalade! I could just eat that stuff off a spoon! : )

  8. Anne, You have a brutal commute; at least someone else is doing the driving and you can relax or catch a snooze. This brownie cake and hot chocolate look delicious. Your description is like a story…love your writing. Pinning!

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Joan….and I DO enjoy letting someone else do the driving! Gives me time to look at food magazines! LOVE your very pretty brush embroidery cookies….so lovely! : )

  9. I want a huge slice of this goodness!

  10. Those brownies, and that cocoa–yum! Don’t even get me started on winter. Ugh! I’m ready to say my good byes. Matter of fact, I’m saying good bye for a week while I cruise on down to the Carribbean. Take that cold!

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Jennie! And I loved your tutorial on making candied nuts….to think I’ve been buying them all these years! Hope you have a WONDERFUL time in the Caribbean! And how I wish you would take me with you! : )

  11. OK, I think I’ve just found my Valentine’s Day dessert! Wow, this looks amazing, Anne!!!

  12. Anne ; OMG you are just amazing; the looks are just fascinating; i am wondering about that delicious taste; wish i could have a bite :( seriously dot have words to explain that.. you are one of the best food bloggers i have seen ..

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Oh Monu….you are so sweet! I wish I could have several bites of those beautiful chocolate mocha muffins you made….they look fabulous! : )

  13. Anne, I totally agree. Winter is work! And it’s depressing when it’s dark and gray for days on end. That cake looks just perfect. What a great way to beat Old Man Winter – ha!!

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thanks Eileen….I imagine you know rough winters in your neck of the woods! Almost time to shine up your Pink Paradise, though! I just love reading about your retro camper! : )

  14. It sure does look yummy. Now if only I could eat wheat flour. I bet I could make it with almond flour and coconut cream. :-)
    Stay warm! It won’t be too much longer for spring.

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Dee, almond flour and coconut cream sound even BETTER! Great idea and yes….spring is right around the corner! : )

  15. I’d say this serves two. ;-) Really great looking dish – this looks wonderful. Great pictures and the recipe is even better. And about winter? I’m OK with it, although not with the snow -that’s such a pain! Anyway love this – thanks.

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Ha….this could even serve one if I’m having a really bad day! I’m okay with a little snow…but I really hate ice. Unless it’s in one of your fabulous cocktails, John! : )

  16. You must’ve read my mind…again! I needed a good brownie recipe, and here you are with yours! I’m going to make these tomorrow. Let you know how they turn out! The cake looks fabulous!

  17. Oh my…why isn’t there brownie at my place now! This cake is beautiful and though it is scorching hot outside on our side, I am tempted to bake this after looking at the pictures.

    • Anne Boeckl says:

      Thank you so much! And oh how I would trade my brownies in for a day in your scorching sun! Hope you’ll give these a try when your weather cools down! : )

  18. I am so ready to do it up right! I’m also happy that I’m not the only one who’s feet are dragging just a bit. We have lots more winter ahead of us so I’ll have to keep the cupboard packed with chocolate.

  19. I apologize for hanging on to summer but maybe if I had this hot chocolate and brownie cake I’d be more willing to let you have summer back. :)

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