These rich, fudgy, coffee scented brownies, with caramel and whipped cream topping are inspired by one of my favorite coffee shop drinks, a caramel latte. I was thinking about how to get the caramel inside the brownies. With some methods, the caramel ends up over baked and chewy. Then I remembered poke cakes from my childhood. You poke holes all over a baked cake and pour whatever you like on top to soak into the holes. It worked beautifully with these brownies. To finish them off, I topped them with fluffy cream cheese whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel.
If you love chocolate cake, this is the post for you! Chocolate cake is one of the best comfort foods there is. I’ve tasted many over the years, but my all time favorite was one I had growing up. I’ve spent years trying to duplicate the moist, nostalgic cake from my childhood. I noticed that nearly every chocolate cake recipe on the internet is a variation of the century-old recipe from the Hershey’s Cocoa tin. I think many people have passed it down as a family recipe, each grandmother adding her own personal touch. Even some celebrity chefs have claimed it as their own. It’s an easy, delicious, moist recipe and its popularity is well deserved. You can tweak the flavor additions a bit to make it your own too. It’s a recipe that’s hard to mess up.
The recipe I’m sharing here is my version of the vintage original, adapted over time by my family. I like to use dark cocoa powder in this recipe, which makes a rich, dark chocolate cake, but you can use your favorite cocoa powder if you prefer. The chocolate frosting recipe is one that I developed, mostly because I couldn’t find a chocolate frosting recipe that didn’t taste gritty and/or look speckled from the cocoa powder. Swiss meringue buttercream with melted chocolate added is one alternative, but, while it is smooth, silky and perfect for piping, it’s missing that deep chocolate richness. Another option is chocolate ganache. It looks rich and creamy in those viral videos, but it’s a little too rich and overpowering to use as frosting in my opinion.
I think this frosting recipe is the one! It has the best of both worlds and it’s perfect for a classic chocolate cake. You can adjust the sweetness level by choosing which chocolate you prefer. I used bittersweet chocolate, which I think is just right. You’ll notice this frosting contains maple syrup. It gives a subtle maple note in the background, but mostly, it helps make the frosting silky and gives it shine. If you’re a food blogger and you’re reading this, I had to eat a ton of chocolate frosting to get this recipe right, so please give credit if you’re inspired by my frosting. Thanks!<3