Below is what happens when you lack patience like me. You get a messy shot of coconut walnut caramel brownies, because the caramel hasn't set and it's just oozing out of the sides of your pretty little slice until the whole thing just kinda falls into itself. But then you just shrug it off and plop on the coconut whipped cream anyways. And top it with the toasted walnuts and coconut shreds because, why not.
It's like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Except the pig actually is a delicious, rich chocolate brownie. So it's not like putting lipstick on a pig. I'll stop talking now.
I made these brownies for Sidarth, a great friend of mine and probably my number 1 baking fan. To give you a quick snapshot of Sid/Siddy/Squiddy, I have a story.
Flashback to undergrad, where I'm chilling with him and some other friends at my girlfriends' house on Jefferson Street. There must have been some occasion going on around the time, because there was some booze out on the table, including this coconut-smelling liquor. Which led to a passionate discussion about coconut-smelling things in general. And how girls rock the coconut scent nowadays (it's true, it's even in my shampoo!)
At this moment, Sidarth chirped into the conversation, "Whenever I smell girls wearing coconut, I get soooo.....
*all the girls turn to look at him and hold their breath*
Now, just to clarify, we were not expecting the word "hungry." Nope, our minds were gravitating towards a different word starting with "h" and ending in "-y," if you know where I'm going with this. And that's what made us all bust out laughing in the living room that night. He totally didn't mean it, but Sid is awesome because he's got a knack of being funny just by being himself. And that's just one of the many reasons we love him.
So Sid, these coconutty brownies are just for you. I first made a makeshift German chocolate cake filling with caramel, coconut, and walnuts and stuck it in the middle of these decadent chocolate brownies. The caramel flavor got deeper as the whole thing baked in the oven, and the brownies came out with a perfect thin crispy top, just like the brownies from a box. Then I topped the whole thing with a simple coconut whipped cream to give it an extra "oomph." The result was truly an over-the-top coconut treat.
Coconut walnut caramel brownies with coconut whipped cream
Ingredients for the coconut walnut caramel filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces
- To make the caramel, place sugar and cream of tartar in a medium, high-sided saucepan set over medium-high heat. Pour water around the edges. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove cover and continue to boil, without stirring, until sugar caramelizes to a light amber color (about 5-7 minutes). Watch it carefully since it can burn quickly!
- Remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream and butter (the mixture will bubble when you do this), then return to low heat and whisk until completely smooth. Keep whisking, don't give up!
- Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and let it cool until thickened yet still pourable.
- Once cool enough, add the coconut and walnut pieces to the caramel and mix. Now you have your filling!
Ingredients for the brownies:
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not too hot. Remove the bowl from the microwave and let the chocolate mixture cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Add the flour and salt, gently folding until combined
- Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Then, take the coconut walnut caramel filling and spread it evenly on top of the brownie batter, leaving a small border around the edges. Top this with the other half of the brownie batter, and spread the batter until all the caramel filling is covered.
- Bake the brownies for 45-50 minutes. Do not overbake! Take the brownies out once finished and let cool to room temperature. You can eat it then, or chill the brownies so that the caramel sets even more and it won't be as gooey - it will definitely be gooey!
Ingredients for the coconut whipped cream:
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 1 day
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Open the cans and take out the liquid (I just drained it, but you could use the water-y part in something like smoothies if you want!) You just need the solid part of the coconut milk for this recipe! Put the solid part into a bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the coconut milk until thick (about 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until thick (probably another minute). Place in the fridge to set up a little more. In the meantime, you can toast some shredded coconut and walnuts to top your brownies!
- Top your cooled brownies with the coconut whipped cream, toasted coconut, and walnuts. Enjoy!
I'm all about that gooey filling in the middle.