Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
Pastry Chef Cheryl Burr of San Francisco's Bacar loves candy, as is obvious from her homage to the Almond Joy. Her luxurious take consists of a supremely fudgy brownie topped with a layer of chewy, flaky, exceptionally tender coconut. She dots each bar with a crunchy roasted almond, then coats them in silky bittersweet-chocolate ganache. F&W Magazine, October 2008.It takes about 7 hours cooling time. Posted on September 11, 2008.
- 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 7 large egg whites
- 1 1⁄3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 lb finely shredded unsweetened coconut (6 1/2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (optional)
- 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 4 1⁄2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 1⁄4 cups heavy cream
- 40 roasted unsalted almonds
- THE BROWNIES:.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Put the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil.
- Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and let stand for about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the flour and salt, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
- Scrape the brownie batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it to the edge.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the top of the brownie looks dry and crackly.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a rack to cool, then transfer the baking sheet to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes, until the brownie base is completely firm.
- MEANWHILE PREPARE THE COCONUT TOPPING:.
- In a large heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites with the sugar.
- Set the bowl over a large saucepan of boiling water and whisk the mixture over moderate heat until it is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes.
- Fold in the shredded coconut, sour cream, vanilla seeds and grated orange zest, if using.
- Spread the coconut topping evenly over the brownie base.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the coconut topping is lightly golden and set.
- Transfer to a rack to cool, then cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- MAKE THE GLAZE:.
- Combine the chopped bittersweet chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth.
- Let stand until warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, trim the border of the chilled brownie base to make it neat.
- Cut the base into 2-inch squares and transfer them to 2 wire racks set over baking sheets.
- Top each square with an almond.
- Using a small ladle, pour a thick coating of the chocolate glaze over each brownie bar.
- Using a small offset spatula, spread the glaze to coat the top and sides completely. (Rewarm the glaze over a pot of simmering water if it gets too thick.).
- Refrigerate the brownie bars until the glaze sets up, about 1 hour.
- Serve chilled.
- *The brownie bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.