I worked at a bakery for two weeks. That’s right, two whole weeks. I wasn’t even baking. I was just at the front of the store using tongs to place croissants in boxes, toss decorated sugar cookies in waxed paper baggies, and run credit cards through the cash register.
It all ended so suddenly when I requested some time off for Thanksgiving. Foolish girl—you can’t request days off for a holiday. (Especially when you’re making an enviable $8/hr.) Needless to say, I wasn’t able to sample all of the treats before I had to take my leave.
One thing I managed to taste was their turtle brownie. And, my, it was good. Ever since then, I’ve dreamed of creating my own (better) version.
This turtle brownie pie may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. I always try to make delicious-tasting food, but it doesn’t always look as good as it tastes. And with food, you really do judge the book by its cover. Who wants to eat food that looks like chewed-up garbage?
This isn’t exactly a pie, but it’s round, so that’s what we’ll call it. The brownie is dense and decadent, and the top is smothered in ganache, toasted pecans, and buttery caramel sauce. (Pause. I just reached over and ate a spoonful of the extra caramel sauce. Heavenly.)
Step 1: Toast pecans.
Step 2: Whip up brownie batter.
Step 3: Make rich ganache. Lick the spoon.
Step 4: Cook some caramel. Repeat licking spoon step.
Makes 10-12 servings
Inspired by Taste of Home
10 T. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1/2 t. salt
3 T. milk
ganache (see recipe below)
caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 c. pecan halves
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
For caramel sauce:
1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 c. half-and-half
4 T. butter
1 T. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the pecans out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 7 to 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in corn syrup. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
Spread into a greased 10-in. springform pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 1 in. from side of pan comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the ganache, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until melted. Cool completely.
To make the caramel sauce, mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, and pour into a jar to cool completely.
To assemble the pie, remove the sides of the springform pan. Place a wire rack over waxed paper, and set the brownie on the rack. Pour ganache over the brownie. Spread the ganache over the top, and let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle the toasted pecans evenly in the middle of the pie. Drizzle generously with the caramel sauce. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until cold and fudgy.