Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fudgy Red Velvet Brownies With White Chocolate Buttercream

Dark chocolate chunks stud these red velvet brownies making them dense and fudgy. To complete the love affair, they are topped with a luscious white chocolate buttercream.

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Well, it's that time of year again...Valentine's Day!
I just love holidays that revolve around food, particularly the sweet kind.

As usual, there's more than a few Valentine's Day treats on my list to bake this year. But every year, I can't go without baking up these delicious bars. They are so good!
There's not many things I enjoy more than a moist, dark chocolate, fudgy brownie. But, as you may know, typical red velvet isn't very chocolaty at all. It's actually kinda low on the chocolate factor.
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So of course I had to correct that little problem. I decided that adding dark chocolate chunks might give me that chocolate fix that only fudgy brownies can...and whattya know, it did!

The brownies themselves are thick and moist, not at all cakey. The slightly sweetened white chocolate buttercream is the perfect match for those little red bars of bliss.
For a textural contrast, I sprinkled some white sparkling sugar from Wilton on top, which gave the buttercream a sweet little crunch in each bite. Seriously, I don't recommend skipping out on this!
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Even my little Valentine couldn't resist a sneak attack.

Fudgy Red Velvet Brownies With White Chocolate Buttercream
makes 16 bars

For the brownies:
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz. red food coloring
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter a 9-inch square metal baking pan and line with parchment leaving an overhang on two sides.
Place the butter and chocolate in a medium glass or metal bowl. Place bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, whisking well to combine after each addition. Add vanilla and food coloring and whisk well until food coloring is completely incorporated.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in salt, flour, and baking powder.
Lastly, fold in chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just moist crumbs. I always err on the side of undercooked, as even just barely overdone brownies turn into a big pan of dry cake.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Brownies will continue to firm up as they cool.

For the buttercream:
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups powdered sugar
4 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped (chips won't work here because they don't melt well)
1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
Sparkling sugar

In a glass bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time allowing it to become fully incorporated before adding more. Pour in melted chocolate and beat until combined. Add heavy cream to desired consistency. 

Using the parchment overhangs, lift cooled brownies out of pan and place on a large cutting board. Spread buttercream on brownies and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. Slice into 16 bars and thoroughly enjoy!

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