Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blue and Gold Banquet Dessert - Campfire Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

This week was the Cub Scout blue and gold banquet and our church youth group offered to make the dessert. I looked online for ideas and I didn’t find much. Take a cake. Frost it with blue and gold frosting. That’s no fun. So I modified this campfire cake idea I found on Pinterest.


We made pans of brownies and cut them into 2.5”X2.5” squares (simple recipe below).


Then we smashed Werther’s candies and cinnamon Jolly Ranchers in a food processer, spread their dust in a shallow foil-lined, Pam-sprayed pan, and baked them at 350F for 8 minutes until they were melted. We let them cool and then broke them into little jagged flames. One bag of Jolly Ranchers and and one bag of Werther’s should easily be enough to make flames for two big batches of brownies. I’d bake them in a 9x13 pan or medium cookie sheet.


We topped the brownies with ganache and then broke Pirouline cookies into little log-sized pieces. We used one Pirouline cookie for each brownie. Cutting it in half and then breaking one half in half again for the smaller logs on the sides.


Arrange you Pirouline cookies on top of the ganache-covered brownies to look like a little campfire. Insert flames and enjoy!


For Valentine’s Day, I used this same brownie and ganache recipe (adapted from, but used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the brownies after baking. I topped the brownies with ganache, sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Perfection!


Big Batch Brownies
Cut-and-Paste Recipe

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
5 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips are fine)
1 C + 6 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
1 ¾ C sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and butter in a glass dish in the microwave until melted enough to combine into a smooth liquid, stirring every 30 seconds. Let the mixture cool for 10-15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Never use an electric mixer for brownies. You’ll want to stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture to combine and then add the eggs two at a time, beating them in with a wooden spoon until they’re well incorporated. Beat in vanilla and then gently stir in the dry ingredients until there are no visible white spots. You want everything combined but not over-mixed.

Spray the bottom of a 12X17” jelly roll pan with cooking spray or line it with a silicone mat. Pour your brownie batter into the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or stick of spaghetti inserted into the center comes out almost clean. A few crumbs are good but you don’t want it to come out wet with batter.

Chocolate Ganache
Cut-and-Paste Recipe

1 C heavy cream
1 heaping cup (8 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Heat the cream in the microwave in a glass dish until small bubbles form around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Let sit five minutes. Whisk chocolate and cream with a fork until dark, creamy and smooth. Whisk in vanilla. This can be used immediately as a warm thin chocolate sauce or cooled to thicken. If placed in refrigerator, this will become thick and spreadable. This makes a perfect cake filling.

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