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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte Cooking View


Say hello to the richest cake I’ve ever made.  Really, I know I’ve made some doozies in the past, but I think this one takes the cake (pun intended).  Ben’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and when I asked him what sort of cake he would like, he said anything would be fine and I could choose.  I immediately began scouring my ridiculously long list of recipes to try but I didn’t get very far when I saw this cake.  Ben just loves toffee so I knew this would be the perfect thing.  Plus, I made him a different brownie torte last year for his birthday and that went over very well.


So, what’s the big deal about this cake?  It consists of three layers of fudge brownie sandwiched with espresso mascarpone filling which is then frosted with an espresso whipped cream and coated in toffee bits.  And for starters, just the brownie layers alone call for a pound of butter, a pound of chocolate, and eight eggs.  I think Paula Deen just gasped.  After I got over the initial shock of the ingredient list, I decided to just go for it.  I knew it would be served at a large family gathering so there would be plenty of people to help eat it.  It really is every bit as delicious and rich as you might imagine.  It seemed like the house was filled with moans, groans, “mmm’s” and “yums” all throughout dessert.  Even after our fairly large crowd was all served, there was close to half the cake left.  Trust me, only a very thin sliver is plenty.


Despite its looks and multiple components, this comes together pretty easily.  There is no need for frosting it very carefully since the whole thing ends up covered in toffee bits.  You can use whatever technique works for you to get the toffee bits on the sides.  Personally I prefer a Jackson Pollock-style approach because it’s just so fun, and then I fill in the holes with a little more care.  It makes quite a giant mess but it’s worth it :)

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte
Yield: about 20 servings

Ingredients

For the brownies:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 cups sugar
8 large eggs
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

For the frosting:
3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tsp. boiling water, chilled

For the filling:
16 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tsp. boiling water
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup reserved frosting (above)

For garnish:
2 cups chopped toffee bits or finely chopped toffee bars

Cooking View

Directions

  • To make the brownie layers, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour the edges of three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.  Combine the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a few inches of simmering water.  Continue heating until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally with a spatula.  Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.  Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl.  (If your heatproof bowl is very large, transfer to a new bowl is not necessary.)  Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and glossy, about 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and salt, and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared baking pans.  Gently smooth the batter in the pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until the brownies are just firm to the touch.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pans 30 minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge of each pan and invert the brownies onto the rack to cool completely.

  • To make the frosting, add the chilled heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until medium-soft peaks form.  Blend in the sugar, vanilla and espresso mixture, whipping just until combine.  Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  Reserve and refrigerate 1 cup of the frosting for use in the filling.  Set aside the rest of the frosting.

  • To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the mascarpone, espresso liquid, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Beat on medium speed until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gently fold in the reserved 1 cup of frosting with a spatula.

  • To assemble the torte, lay 1 of the brownie rounds to a large serving platter.  Spread half of the filling mixture evenly over the top.  Layer with another brownie round, and the remainder of the filling.  Top with the final brownie layer.  Cover the top and sides of the cake with the frosting.  Garnish with the toffee bits to cover the top and sides of the cake.  Use any remaining frosting to pipe decorative swirls around the top edge of the cake, if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source

  • http://scratchwithlove.wordpress.com poperatzii

    Just looking at it makes me want to run 5 miles, haha. It’s like food porn.

  • http://dreamaboutfood.blogspot.com fooddreamer

    Hello, richest cake you ever made (and possibly the richest I have ever laid eyes on!). WOW! Looks so good!

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I am in love with this cake and am looking for ANY excuse to make it. It’s garbage day…I’m excited for that maybe? Cake time!

  • http://www.thebrunettefoodie.com The Brunette Foodie

    I need to make this. Like now.

  • http://www.20somethingcupcakes.com Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes

    I almost chose this recipe for my pick for Project Pastry Queen! You should join Annie! I ended up going with the Seventh Heaven Truffle Cake, coming this Sunday.

    http://projectpastryqueen.wordpress.com/

  • http://keepitsweet.wordpress.com KeepItSweet

    this sounds amazing despite how rich it must be… going to try to resist making it right now……….

  • http://tryityoumightlikeit.wordpress.com tryityoumightlikeit

    You…. are….. awesome!!
    Everything you show us is such art. I love reading your blog.

  • http://ourgoodfoodlife.blogspot.com Jen

    This cake looks amazing, although I think I would use chocolate chips or shaved chocolate pieces in place of the toffee as we aren’t big toffee people but chocolate on chocolate–we are that type of people!

  • Jeannette M.

    that is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen…stunning!

  • Natalie

    Annie- QUIT your day job, you have a true gift….That cake is so beautiful and looks sooooooo good!

  • Ariana from Chicago

    Gorgeous!! Pastry Queen has many super rich cake recipes, but this is for a birthday, why not? Had to comment on the berries on top – cut side up!! Never thought to do that, it looks so pretty that way

  • Tinna

    This looks SOOO good!!!! Must make this someday :)

  • http://www.crumblycookie.net Bridget

    Lucky you! Every year for his birthday, my husband requests banana cream pie – boring!

  • http://www.thegirlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com Christy Denney

    Breathtaking. Really beautiful!

  • http://passionfoodie.blogspot.com/ nita scot

    That looks beautiful and delicious.

  • http://www.runningoncupcakes.com Marg

    This looks so good, a brownie cake – I’m loving it!

  • http://@Adventuresofablondebaker Danielle

    Annie, that cake is beautiful! It looks so high and elegant.

  • http://fallonscucina.blogspot.com/ Fallon

    Oh my that looks amazing..

  • http://www.thesingledish.com Heather @ The Single Dish

    Wow that is a gorgeous cake!! I love the strawberries, they really pop.

  • Becky B

    Wow! That looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.path-less-traveled.blogspot.com Lizibeth @ thePathLessTraveled

    whoooo my, that looks good!!!

  • Annie

    Yeah, I’m just not interested in baking with groups. I prefer to make what I want, when I want and bake to the beat of my own drummer, so to speak :)

  • http://kelseysappleaday.blogspot.com Kelsey

    This looks absolutely incredible, Annie! Ben sure is a lucky, lucky man!

  • http://www.chileanflavor.blogspot.com Mohana

    Isn’t that delicious, or what?!?!?!?!?!?! Now, I HAVE to bake it!!!! What an awesome recipe, girl!

  • http://www.plainchicken.blogspot.com Steph@PlainChicken

    This is beautiful!

  • Allison

    This looks amazing! I think you and I are on the same page. Every time I need a fantastic recipe you read my mind and then when I make them they turn out fantastic and are a huge hit! This is perfect for my Co-workers birthday.Thank you!

  • http://guiltykitchen.com Elizabeth

    O.M.G. That is all.

  • http://www.bananasforbourbon.blogspot.com Julie (Bananas for Bourbon)

    Oh my word! I think our husbands would get along at meal times. Hehe. He loves rich desserts too (especially chocolate ones), so this is right up his alley! I love that it’s a brownie instead of cake, and I love the marscapone in the filling. This sounds amazing!

  • The Waspy Redhead

    Oh.my.word! That looks heavenly!

  • http://comfortofcooking.blogspot.com Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Ben is one lucky guy – I would love to dig in to a cake like this on my birthday. You did an incredible job on this, Annie! It’s just lovely.

  • http://sweetebakes.blogspot.com Evan @swEEts

    I think this is one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever seen.. every single part of this thing just screams to be made! I think the more “bad” ingredients in cakes and sweets the better it tastes :) Now I just need to find an occasion to make this!!

  • http://www.maggiedon.blogspot.com Maggie Donaldson

    Hmmm, Homer Simpson seems to have come in, all I can hear is “mmmmmmmm….toffee bar brownie tort………….mmmmmmmmm”. Oh, wait, it’s me!

  • Lisa

    Looks fabulous, was wondering if it would totally change the cake if I ommitted the espresso powder, not a ‘coffee’ lover. Any suggestions on what to replace it with?

  • Annie

    I would probably just up the vanilla extract. Or, you could use a totally different filling altogether.

  • http://whataboutpie.blogspot.com/ Bonnie@WhatAboutPie

    Oh my goodness gracious! This cake caught my eye from the second I saw it! I will DEFINATELY be making this! All I can say is, WOW and I am up for the challenge of the richness!

  • http://rowieonpendertime.blogspot.com/ Rowie

    What an absolutely gorgeous cake! Very impressive! My husbands birthday is coming up, so this might just find it’s way onto our table with some candles in it! Thanks for the great post and beautiful pictures!

  • AF

    Please tell where you got the square cake plate! I have been looking for one, and yours is exactly what I want.

  • Annie

    Martha Stewart line, Macy’s. They have three sizes.

  • http://bakeoff-flunkie.blogspot.com Tiffiny Felix

    Seriously? Holy crap! So, so gorgeous! *:)*

  • http://partonponderings.blogspot.com Rachel

    how are you so amazing?? :) that torte is a thing of beauty.

  • http://joyincooking.blogspot.com Lisa

    Stunning, I’ve gained 5 lbs just looking at this picture!

  • http://yumsiliciousbakes.blogspot.com Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)

    Wow! I want to eat this, totally guilt free. I’ll do the working out bit today itself!

  • http://www.moveablefeastscookbook.blogspot.com Barbara

    Well hello rich cake! I think you and I may become good friends. But first, I better lose a few pounds!
    Fabulous!

  • http://eatcakefordinner.blogspot.com JENN

    That looks like a cake you could buy at a bakery! Awesome job!

  • http://partonponderings.blogspot.com Rachel

    So a few nights ago I made your taco bowls & homemade seasoning. I got to thinking that it could be delicious to make dessert taco bowls… and it was! I used butter instead of oil & sprinkled the tortillas with cinnamon & scooped ice cream into them – delicious! Picture & more details at my blog.

  • http://cbethblog.blogspot.com C. Beth

    Oh geez, that looks amazing. Bookmarking….

  • http://aggielandmommycooks.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Beautiful!

  • http://www.eatandbehappy.wordpress.com thecoffeesnob

    Can you actually gain weight just by looking at pictures of gorgeously decadent cakes?

    Because I’m pretty sure I just did.

    That looks incredibly delicious- and it’s by far one of the most gorgeous cakes I’ve seen in a long time!

  • Tiffany

    I might make this for my son’s birthday… does it have a very strong coffee taste, or is the espresso just enhancing the chocolate?

  • Annie

    Yes the filling and frosting are espresso flavored.

  • http://www.itsybitsybrianna.blogspot.com Brianna

    looks sooo perfect
    I want some please???

  • http://www.eatmedelicious.com Ashley

    Holy wow that is one of the most delicious and awesome looking cakes I’ve seen in a long time!

  • bulk candy sales

    This looks so good, a brownie cake. That looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to try it!
    I just need to find an occasion to make this!! I love the strawberries, they really pop. Thank you for sharing.

  • carrie

    Wow! I made this for Easter and it was one of the richest desserts I have ever eaten. Everyone in my family loved it. I had to send the leftovers to my husband’s office so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat it all myself.
    I also loved this dessert because it was really easy to make.

  • http://www.dancerbakes.blogspot.com Angela S.

    I actually just made this sans-espresso-plus-vanilla, and it turned out fabulously! Thanks for the recipe, Annie – I know I’ll never go wrong with a recipe I find here :)

  • http://www.cakeandallie.com Allie

    Hi Annie,

    It looks the the frosting has little flecks of brown in it, yet the espresso is dissolved. Did you do something else?

    Thanks :)

  • Annie

    It still has a flecked appearance, but I did what is written in the directions :)

  • blowuptheworld

    Hi, what a deliciously looking recipe. I made your star sprangled apple pie a few days ago and it was delicious, thanks! I want to make this cake for my borthers birthday and I have a little question. What kind of toffee bars should I use? Do you have a particular brand you used? I live in Holland so it might be hard to get :)

  • Anonymous

    Any variety will do. Enjoy!

  • blowuptheworld

    Thanks, but may I ask wich ones you used? I don’t really know wich one to pick :)

  • Elendeaking

    Annie do you cute off the tops of the brownies to make them more even looking? I have them cooling right now :)

  • annieseats

    You can if you need too. I always level cakes if they are domed, but I wouldn’t expect brownies to puff up much.

  • Heather E

    I don;t drink coffee, do you think the frosting would be good with out the espresso or should I make a substitue with coco powder or something you recommend? :-)

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!