Chocolate Ganache Brownies
These fudgy and delicious brownies with a rich chocolate ganache layer are the ultimate decadent dessert. Moist, fudgy brownies and creamy ganache that stay moist for days which makes them perfect for making the night before and serving the next day. The brownie base is seriously rich and fudgy, perfectly chewy brownies with some bonus texture from the chocolate chips in the batter that makes them so addicting. The brownies are made in one bowl or saucepan and the ganache is simple to make as well. Just the kind of treat that I’m always craving and it never disappoints!
This recipe comes form a very special book and I’m sorry it took me so long to feature a recipe from it! The hardest part was choosing a recipe to feature because everything in Earth To Table Bakes by Bettina Schormann & Erin Schietsel is amazing looking. I chose the brownies because I can’t resist a chocolate treat and I know you guys love brownies just as much as I do. These two special ladies met eachother at the Ancaster Mill a place well known not only for being a very pretty venue but spectacular food and well known for its epic Sunday brunch! I have been for dinners, brunch, lunch and showers and weddings and the quality and attention to detail is always amazing. They went on to open and work together at Earth to Table: Bread Bar - with three locations serving up delicious baked goods both sweet and savoury, pizza and more! (2 in Hamilton and 1 in Guelph). The concept of earth to table has always appealed to me - always! Eating local, in season is goals! I am always drawn to restaurants that offer it and love them just like I love the Bread Bar and this awesome book! These two talented pastry chefs have shared some of the best recipes so that us home cooks and bakers can better our skills and improve the quality of our baking! The book is split into these sections: Cookies, Bars & Squares, Scones, Muffins and Biscuits, Loaves & Cakes, Doughnuts, Puffs and other Yeasted Goods, Pies and Tarts, Four recipes for Each Season, and Staples. The recipes in the book are so clear and straightforward with excellent step by step photos for those trickier more involved recipes - which is priceless if you ask me. Almost everything is dog eared in this book and I can’t wait to bake my way through it!!! Make sure to visit the restaurant if you are in the Hamilton/Guelph area - it’s well worth it and definitely get your hand on a copy of the book - you will love it!
Ingredients For The Brownies
- SUGAR: I use granulated white sugar - but feel free to swap out a ¼ cup of it with light brown sugar if you wish
- BUTTER: I use unsalted butter to control amount of salt in the recipe
- COCOA POWDER: You will need 1 cup cocoa powder - I use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe
- ESPRESSO POWDER: This is totally optional. Instead of adding an obvious coffee flavour, the addition of instant espresso powder to these brownies makes the chocolate’s flavor really shine. Feel free to bump it up by adding an additional teaspoon if a more intense coffee flavour suits your taste. But if you prefer the brownies without that is fine too.
- SALT: Balances the flavours
- EGGS: Helps bind and adds richness and structure to the batters
- PURE VANILLA EXTRACT: Always adds a warm flavor to all sweet baked goods
- ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: This is to give these brownies some structure.
- SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE: When it comes to the brownie batter feel free to use semi sweet chocolate chips for stiring into the batter if you wish or chopped chocolate.
- VARIATIONS: How about a teaspoon of your favorite extract or flavoring (almond, orange, hazelnut)? A tablespoon of your favorite flavored booze will do the trick, instead of an extract- maybe Frangelico, Grand Marnier, etc. Or you can add some chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. Match the nuts in the brownie to the flavor of your choice (so if you use Frangelico, add toasted hazelnuts to the batter… almonds with Amarettto… you get it). Top with chopped nuts to sprinkles if you wish
For the Ganache
- SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE: Use a good-quality bar of chocolate, around 55-60% cacao. Don’t use chocolate chips for the ganache, as they contain ingredients that prevent them from melting very smoothly, which makes a lumpy ganache.
- BUTTER: I use unsalted butter so I can control amount of salt in the recipe
- HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM: You need the high fat content of heavy whipping cream for a rich, creamy consistency to your ganache. 35% or more
How To Make Ganache Iced Brownies
I love a good one bowl baking recipe and these brownies are defiantly that. I typically make them in a medium/large saucepan over very low heat - patient stirring instead of a double broiler. I feel like I can control the temperature better but feel free to make them either in the sauce pan or large bowl over double broiler. Here are the basic steps - full instructions in recipe card below:
- Over a double broiler or in a medium size saucepan over LOW HEAT place the butter, cocoa powder, sugar, espresso powder and salt (all the dry ingredients except the flour), STIR gently until smooth. Be patient - it will go from grainy to smooth. Allow to cool off the heat for 5 minutes.
- WHISK in eggs and vanila
- FOLD the flour and chocolate chips to the wet ingredients
- POUR batter into prepared pan and bake
- COOL brownies while you make ganache
- For Ganache - HEAT CREAM
- POUR hot cream over chopped chocolate and butter - allow to sit a few minutes then stir gently until smooth
- POUR & SMOOTH over the room temperature brownies
- CHILL to set
- SLICE & ENJOY!
Chocolate Ganache Brownies Tips
- Use great quality chocolate for this recipe is key to achieving the luscious chocolate flavour of your brownie dreams
- You do want to be sure the melted butter and sugar have some time to cool before adding your eggs, otherwise you might end up with scrambled egg brownies which is less than appealing.
- Pouring the ganache will be easier of it’s still a tad warm, since it thickens as it cools. I found the ganache in this particular recipe quite runny so I actually allowed it to cool several minutes before pouring it over the brownies. You want it pourable but not soupy. If yours is thin just set it aside a while stirring it occasionally to test for thickness and once it’s a bit thicker pour it over the bronwies.
- Let brownies sit at cool room temperature for 2-4 hours until completely set. You can refrigerate them if you’re in a hurry, for 1-3 hours but the ganache will lose its shiny finish
- Personally I always chill them to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing to ensure you get those nice clean slices
- When making ganache - Stir gently when making the ganache topping to ensure that it doesn’t split
- Don’t over-heat the cream while making ganache or this can cause the ganache to separate since it will over-heat the chocolate. It is important for the chocolate to melt slowly for the ganache to be nice and smooth.
- Cut the brownie bars into neat squares, lift the brownies out of the pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lifting the whole slab onto a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the brownies, wiping the knife clean in between each cut.
How should I store leftovers?
Store the brownie bars in an airtight container preferably refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. You can also wrap them individually and freeze for 3-6 months, pulling a brownie out to thaw whenever you want a quick treat.
More Desserts You Will Love
For the Brownies
- 2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup (250 mL) dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped semisweet chocolate/ semi sweet chocolate chips
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 12 ounces (340 g) chopped semisweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream (35%)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 13 × 9-inch (3.5 L) baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) overhang on all sides. Or grease pan with cooking spray.
- MAKE THE BROWNIES In a double boiler, or a large stainless steel bowl placed over a large saucepan of simmering water, or in a large sauce pan over low heat: combine the sugar, butter, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs into the chocolatey mixture one at a time. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
- Fold in the flour and semisweet chocolate chips until no pockets of white flour remain. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let brownies cool to room temperature in the baking dish over wire rack.
- MAKE THE GANACHE Place the semisweet chocolate and butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just barely to a simmer not a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir with a spatula until combined and smooth. Spoon and swoosh the ganache over the brownies in an even layer and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until ganache is set.
- Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the brownies out of the baking dish. Place them on a clean cutting board and pull the parchment paper away from the brownies. Run a sharp knife under hot water for about 30 seconds to heat it up. Dry the knife with a clean kitchen towel. While the knife is still hot, cut the brownies into 18 squares, cleaning the knife after each cut. This will help create very clean, crisp cuts.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of sea salt if you wish or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.The brownie base is seriously rich and fudgy, perfectly chewy brownies with some bonus texture from the chocolate chips in the batter
This Recipe is from Earth To Table Bakes by Bettina Schormann & Erin Schietsel and gifted to me by Random House Canada. The recipe is from page 47