Heavenly Sogno Di Choccolata

Today my sister called me from Florida where she’s vacationing with her cute little family at Disney World. [I’m jealous!] We were wearing matching tops and as I panned my I-phone so she could see me on FaceTime, she asked: “how are you so skinny when you make and eat all these delicious things?!” She’s so awesome for saying that. I don’t claim to be skinny… but I have had a few people ask the same thing, so I will tell you! I give almost everything I bake away!! Tonight my sister in law came over for dinner, and I made sure she left with at least half of this, because it’s dangerous to have around here! This is probably one of my all time favorite desserts. It’s layered with brownies, chocolate mousse, whipped cream, more brownies, more chocolate mouse, more whipped cream- and chocolate sauce. It’s the Mary Poppins of desserts–practically perfect in every way!!
The recipe comes from my all time favorite restaurant, Carrabba’s. I used to order it all the time when we lived in Utah, but up here in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Washington State, there is no Carrabba’s, so I thought it was time I learned how to make it!  This was both a really good, and a really bad idea. And now I will both bless and curse you with the recipe!
Brownie Layer
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup Kalhúa or other coffee liqueur [optional] 1 cup store-bought chocolate syrup for serving

For the brownie layers, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly butter two 8-inch square baking pans.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or waxed paper. 

Whisk the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla together in large bowl.  One at a time, beat in the eggs.  Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together.  Add to the butter mixture and stir until smooth.  Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth the top.

Bake until the brownies are beginning to pull away from sides, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to wire cake racks and let cool in the pans. Invert and unmold onto the racks and remove the parchment paper.

For the mousse, bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat.  Add the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate softens, about 1 minute.  Whisk until smooth. pour into a medium bowl.  Refrigerate until the chocolate mixture is cool and barely beginning to set, about 30 minutes.

For the whipped cream, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a chilled medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high until the cream is stiff. Place 1 brownie layer in a clean 8-by-8 inch baking pan.  Brush with 2 tablespoons of liqueur [optional].  Whisk the cooled chocolate mixture just until lightened in color and fluffy.Do not overbeat the mousse or it may separate.  Spread half of the chocolate mousse on the brownie in the pan, and spread with a thin layer of the whipped cream.Repeat with the remaining brownie, liqueur, mousse, and whipped cream.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.  (The dessert can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)  Remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into 9 squares.
Place a square in a shallow bowl and drizzle with as much chocolate sauce as you like. Serve chilled. I should have given the other half away, because these pictures are making me want more… and I have a lot more!! Anyone want to come over for some Chocolate cake and save me??!!

Enjoy this recipe guys!! If you don’t, there is seriously something wrong with you!
<3 Sarah