Spooky Brownie Cake

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A fudgy brownie and bittersweet chocolate ganache come together for the perfectly spooky halloween treat. Have fun drizzling the top with sweet white chocolate to create a spider web fit for this haunted holiday.

Spooky Brownie Cake
Yield: 1, 9-inch cake; serves about 8

For the Brownie Cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup AP flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the White Chocolate Ganache:
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
White sanding sugar for dusting, optional

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1) Start by making the brownie cake. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F and position the oven racks in the center. Line a 9-inch round baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2) In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter and chopped bittersweet chocolate, stirring until completely melted, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla, coffee, eggs, and granulated sugar until thoroughly combined.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until all ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven until the top is crisp and cracked in spots, but the the center is still moist and when a toothpick is inserted in the center, only a few crumbs leave with it, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.

4) Meanwhile, make the bittersweet chocolate ganache. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the heavy cream and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until a smooth ganache forms. Set aside to cool slightly.

5) Turn the brownie cake out of the pan and remove the parchment paper. Place on a serving plate or cake stand. Using an offset spatula, spread the bittersweet chocolate ganache all over the top of the brownie cake, smoothing the top of the ganache as best as you can. Place in the refrigerate to chill and to set the ganache, about 10 minutes.

6) While the bittersweet chocolate ganache sets, make the white chocolate ganache. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the heavy cream and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until a smooth ganache forms. Pour into a pastry bag or zip-top freezer bag and set aside to cool slightly.

7) Remove the brownie cake from the refrigerator. Using the white chocolate ganache, cut off a very small portion of the tip of the pastry bag and start to pipe the spider web, looking at the images to help guide you. Sprinkle the white chocolate ganache with white sanding sugar and return to the refrigerate to set up completely. Slice into wedges and serve.

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* Cook’s Note: When it’s not Halloween, make the brownie cake and bittersweet chocolate as is and leave off the white chocolate ganache spider web. You can enjoy the cake as is, or top with some of your favorite toppings, like sprinkles, shaved chocolate, toasted coconut or chopped nuts.

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