I love coconut - from the juice to the flesh to the dessicated ones to the cream! I also love coconut in curries (from red to green to yellow to laksa), in rice like nasi lemak, and in desserts like kuihs, chendol, ice cream and in cakes! However, I don't bake with them as they spoil very easily
(excuses, excuses, excuses...). But with Bake-Along coming up with a Coconut Checkerboard Brownies I can procrastinate no longer!
I absolutely love the brownies base - intensely chocolatey and gooey. The coconut is a little too dry for my liking - I think the difference lies in the fact that the original recipe used fresh desiccated coconut (which is moister) while I used dried ones. Though it's not explicitly stated in the recipe that fresh coconut should be used, I think that's the main reason why the coconut portions are not moist enough. Nevertheless, the coconut smells extremely heavenly during baking and it's an interesting twist to the traditional brownie.
The checkerboard is definitely very lovely to look at, but it's a little time consuming (having to refrigerate and spoon them separately), and to be honest, after cutting the brownies up, it's hard to see the checkered pattern.
So the next time I make this, I would probably increase the amount of coconut cream and make the brownie into 3 layers - brownie, coconut and brownie again. It would be more even and easier to taste the coconut and brownie at the same time.
On to the step-by-step photos!
Coconut in a food processor - process till its finely chopped.
Weigh some softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
Add in the chopped coconut...
... And icing sugar.
Measure some cream of coconut.
Add in the cream of coconut.
Mix it around and get one egg and a pinch of salt in.
Mix, stir and mash the mixture - I think the mixture should be moister
than this, so do add a little more cream of coconut if you have the same consistency as mine!
Refrigerate then roll into little balls like these.
Combine some butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Melt into a smooth consistency over a pot of simmering water (double boiler).
Add in sugar and stir. It will be lumpy, but will turn out ok later on (like magic!) Let the mixture cool slightly.
Whisk in one egg at a time until fully incorporated - I beat them in using my rubber spatula (really lazy to grab my whisk).
Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract / paste (I always estimate as I don't want to waste the paste on the measuring spoon!)
Sift flour, baking powder and salt over the chocolate mixture and fold it in.
The luscious brownie batter! Spread some brownie batter at the bottom of the brownie pan then refrigerate both the brownie in the pan and the leftover till it's thicker, but not firm.
Arrange the coconut balls on the cold brownie base.
Fill the little "holes" with the cold leftover brownie.
Press some coconut on top of the coconut balls (didn't do a good job adhering them and gave up halfway!)
Bake until the brownie's cooked and the top is lightly golden brown! (Sorry for the blur photo!)
Do hop over to the lovely hosts - Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids - websites for their bakes for this Bake-Along! And to see what other bloggers have baked, do click the little froggie below!
Coconut Checkerboard Chocolate Brownies
- Butter an 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan.
- Measure ⅓ cup flaked coconut; cover and set aside.
- Place remaining coconut and sugar in processor and chop them finely.
- Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add in the chopped coconut and cream of coconut. Stir, mash and mix them all up.
- Add in egg and salt and mix well. Refrigerate till firm, about 1 hour.
- Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl. Set the bowl over a small pot of simmering water (not allowing the water to touch the bottom of the bowl). Melt the chocolate and butter completely, stirring occasionally till smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar all at one go. It'll be lumpy but that's ok. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt over the chocolate mixture and fold it in with a large metal spoon / rubber spatula.
- Spread 1 ¼ cups of the batter on the bottom of the pan and spread it out evenly. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate it together with the remaining batter till thickened, about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Roll the coconut batter into small balls and arrange them in a checkered pattern on the cold brownie base. Scoop the brownie mixture and fill the "holes".
- Sprinkle reserved ⅓ cup flaked coconut over coconut mounds; press gently to adhere. Cover pan tightly with foil.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake until tester inserted in center of 1 chocolate mound comes out almost clean, about another 40 minutes. (Yes the baking is this long! I underbaked mine by 5 minutes, so the brownie is still pretty gooey in the middle - I love gooey brownies!)
- Cool brownies completely in pan on rack. (I kept my brownies in the refrigerator after cooling them to firm up the gooey base a little - absolutely delish!)