Friday, December 18, 2015

Mocha Coconut Ugly Sweater Brownie Cake


For the past few years I have been taking photos of different weekly challenges for Gastropost.  Gastropost is part of Postmedia who own the National Post.  Every week a few photos are chosen to appear in the Gastropost section of the Saturday edition of the National Post in Toronto and versions across Canada as well.

Recently the team at Gastropost chose 8 of us Gastropost Bloggers to complete a sponsor Challenge for the Holidays.

THE MISSION:  HOLIDAY TREATS

We were given a couple of different items from a couple of different sponsors.

I was given a Brownie Mix and Wine gums from Walmart Canada.


After scratching my head to come up with an idea of what to do with these items I decided to tie them into the Holiday Party Theme I am doing for a party with friends this weekend.

THE THEME:  UGLY SWEATER PARTY

What I did to transform and turn the products into a Holiday Treat?

I decided to make a Mocha Coconut Brownie Cake.
I knew I wanted to frost it with Coconut so it made sense to compliment the flavours of a chocolate brownie mix with Espresso flavour and coconut.

I tried to turn the wine gums into stained glass ornaments but that didn't work out as well as I would have hoped so I just used the Wine gums as decoration for the Brownie Cake.

I decided to make it round instead of the traditional square brownies to make it look more like a snowy cake and also so that I can cover it on a cake stand.  A practical reason for sure.

Directions for the Brownie:

I added about a tablespoon of Espresso powder to the mix because it enhances the chocolate flavour.
I also added about 3 tablespoons of shredded coconut to the mix.
I added the required water and 2 eggs but had to substitute the vegetable oil for Olive Oil but I wouldn't suggest this.  I didn't have any vegetable oil and didn't have time to run out to get some.  I probably would have substituted in Coconut oil if I had some and I know that would have further enhanced the flavour.

I mixed it up and then baked it.   There are directions on the box to tell you how long to cook it.   I tried to do the toothpick test to see if it comes out clean and cooked it longer but I think because I used Olive oil and added the coconut it was a bit too long and the edges burnt but these things happen sometimes.  I just cut off the brown edges when i frosted the brownie.  It takes a bit of time to bake and you have to cool it completely before you frost it.

For the Frosting:

I whipped up some white buttercream using just a couple of sticks of softened butter and a couple of cups of icing sugar and added coconut extract to it to boost the coconut flavour.

Because I only had the one box I couldn't make another one so I had to try and get it right the first time around.

I frosted the cooled brownie with the white buttercream and then added shredded coconut to make it look like snow.   I added red food coloring to the little bit of leftover buttercream and piped the outline of a sweater on the cake.

I added colored sprinkles to the inside of the sweater outline and then added a few whole and cut wine gums for the buttons on the sweater.   I also added wine gums to the border of the brownie around the edges to tie it all together.

And Voila,  and Ugly Christmas Brownie Cake.

I wanted to cut it and show a slice of it but then I would ruin the surprise for my friends  at my Holiday Party on the weekend.   So you will have to trust me that it looks good on the inside and is very chocolatey.

I will post a photo of a cut piece on my Instagram account @lindamatarasso once I cut it this sunday.

Thank you to Walmart Canada for the goodies and thank you to Gastropost for organizing a few of us crafty Bloggers.  You can follow along on Twitter and Instagram to see what the others have done by using the hashtag #GastropostHoliday.

I hope to have more photos with the Brownie cake after the weekend so look out for more soon.






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