04-10 Brini's Brownies - Coconut Edition!

Hi people! Welcome to another episode. This week is all about customization – we’re customizing a brownie mix and I’m going to give you some ideas for making mixes your own.

The benefit of working with a mix is the convenience of it. You can throw together a quick dessert in a few minutes, bake it and have it ready in no time at all. This convenience comes at a price though. That price isn’t taste, as most mixes produce quite tasty results. That price is individuality. Making your mark with a mix is the aim of this episode.

Now we’ve made a traditional brownie mix a bit more posh by giving it an island flavor. We’ve added coconut and coconut rum to the mix. Here’s how:

You’ll need:

1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge brownie mix
½ cup oil
¼ cup coconut rum
3 eggs
¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut
Dash more coconut rum

Prepare mix as directed on the box, swapping out the water for the coconut rum and adding the coconut after the other ingredients have been combined. Add the dash of rum after the shredded coconut has been mixed in. Bake as directed on the box. Frost the finished product with Buttercream icing (flavored with coconut extract) and garnish with more shredded coconut.

The key to making a mix your own and achieving professional results is preserving the chemistry of baking. I have a friend who always customizes his mixes and his cakes are always delicious, but they frequently don’t hold together all that well and tend to be a bit lopsided. The reason for this is that he hasn’t preserved the balance of liquid to solid ingredients and hasn’t allowed for the leavening process.

The reason we add a dash of rum to the mix is to account for the added bulk to the recipe from the shredded coconut and the liquid lost more quickly due to evaporation during the baking process – alcohol evaporates more quickly than water.

I’m especially fond of doctoring brownie mixes. One of my favorite holiday recipes is made with a dark chocolate brownie mix, into which you add a teaspoon of peppermint extract. Then frost the brownies with butter cream icing and sprinkle crushed peppermint candy canes on top. I call them my peppermint bark brownies. I’ll be featuring them in an upcoming episode around the holidays, so be sure and look for it!

If you’re interested in learning more about customizing mixes be sure and have a look at The Cake Mix Doctor. Anne Byrn is a whiz at making mixes interesting.