The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.
Last week I made the Chocolate Malt Cake from Momofuku Milk Bar for my mother-in-law’s birthday. Yes, it was definitely over the top for a senior citizen, but you should have seen her face when we fired the topping of mini marshmallows and lit the candles with my husband’s propane torch. No matter how old you are, fire is always exciting.
That chocolatey cake, although fabulous, did have quite a few steps along with the requisite sink full of dirty dishes. But, I liked it so much that I got to thinking about developing an easy-to-bake brownie-like clone for the holidays. It would incorporate the malted crumbs, malty fudge sauce and, of course, the marshmallows on top. Let’s just say I was successful in creating what might best be described as the most ridiculous (in a good way) brownie ever: The Whopper Brownie! It’s just perfect for the holidays.
I hope Santa isn’t watching, because you’re bad…very bad to eat these brownies. In the 90’s they’d have “death by” written in front of them. Unlike the original cake with three towering layers that were impossible to cut into portable slices, these brownies are easily sliced into little bite-size bricks of deliciousness. I especially like the shy hint of salt, compliments of the un-dissolved flakes of Kosher salt in the batter.
The malted fudge sauce drizzled over top gets its flavor from one of my favorite childhood treats: Ovaltine. Christina Tosi, the pastry chef who originated the cake recipe, gets points for creativity here. The fudgy sauce is delicious, firms up just right and takes but a minute to make.
Then, there’s the topping of marshmallows and crushed Whoppers, the childhood movie treat, crumbled on top as the pièce de résistance.
You can eat these brownies out of hand, but a fork and a plate will keep most of the malted milk ball crumbs in your mouth, where they belong.
Perfect for a holiday indulgence, these brownies are like nothing you’ve ever baked before. Santa, please close your eyes and pass me one of these brownies.
- 16 Brownies
For the Brownie Base
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. dark corn syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
For the Malty Fudge Sauce
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. Ovaltine
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
For the Topping
- 1 cup Whoppers, crushed
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- Grease a 9×9 baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Leave excess paper on the long sides of the pan so that the brownies can be easily lifted from the pan after baking. Grease the parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside
- Combine the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides and add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until blended. Beat in the buttermilk, corn syrup and vanilla.
- Reduce the speed and add the dry ingredient mixture in three additions, stopping to scrape down the sides. Beat the batter for another minute on medium-high to thoroughly combine.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
- To make the fudge sauce, combine the Ovaltine, chocolate and kosher salt in a medium-size, heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the cream, corn syrup and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot mixture over the Ovaltine mixture in the bowl and let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. (Make the sauce right before assembling or it will firm up and you’ll have to reheat it to a pourable consistency.)
- Crush the Whoppers in a heavy duty plastic bag with a mallet or a hammer. Leave some crunchy chunks for texture.
- To assemble the brownies, spread a thin drizzle of fudge sauce over the top and sprinkle the crumbled Whoppers.
- Drizzle over another layer of fudge sauce. If the sauce is too thick, rewarm gently over low heat. Scatter the marshmallows evenly over the top and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set up.
- Lift the brownies from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut the brownies into bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
- When tightly sealed, these brownies will keep for 5 days. But they will probably be gone in 2 or 3.
Variation: Feel free to torch the marshmallows and brown them up a little with a kitchen torch. It makes them so pretty and the marshmallows even more delicious.