Thursday, 4 October 2012

United Bakes of America Round 5...and Root Beer Float Brownies!

Sorry I'm late to the game this month! October just snuck up on me!
and here I am with the round up of bakes that were entered this month with a confession to make...remember how I was baking things from the United Bakes of America book? Wanna know where that book is right now? .... it's in my parents attic, in Shropshire! and it didn't get packed into my suitcase over here as it should have done! but it's probably lucky because squeezing your whole life into 46kg is not an easy task to do! more recipes from that book, but the United Bakes challenge will still continue because there is always an American ingredient, recipe or state dish on hand! So for my American bake this month I defaulted back to my number one favourite edible thing to do with America - Root Beer! 

A few months back, Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker, was holidaying around Asia when she stumbled upon some A&W root beer ice cream topper! and being the most amazing blogging friend that she is and knowing of my extreme undying love for A&W she sent me some! 

I have been saving this bottle up for a precious recipe, and yes I did manage to put that in my 46kg of stuff I brought over from England!

and so I present to you Root Beer Float Brownies - an A&W infused brownie topped with vanilla bean frosting (to represent the ice cream part in a float) and finished off with a drizzle of that delicious A&W sauce! 

Root Beer Float Brownies:
Serves 18
From Cookies and Cups

2/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 oz chopped semi sweet chocolate
3 oz white chocolate
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 oz root beer (I used A&W)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a 15 x 8" baking dish with parchment paper and grease lightly with butter.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Over a double boiler (or in a microwave) melt the butter, semi sweet and white chocolates together.
Remove from the heat when just melted and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Using your mixer (sob..or if your Kitchen Aid is back in England, using a spoon!) mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla together.
Slowly add in the cooled chocolate mixture.  
Now add half the flour and half the root beer.  Mix on low, scraping the sides in between.
Repeat with the remaining flour and root beer until just combined.  The batter will look quite thin.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until center is just set.  I checked mine at 22 minutes and they were still gooey, when I checked at 25 no crumbs came out attached to the knife and they had baked too much and were cake like texture! so depending on your oven, definitely check them around the 20 minutes mark as you don't want brownies like mine!
Let cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Bean Frosting:
Makes enough to just frost the above, if you want a thicker layer of frosting make a bigger batch.
Adapted from Cupcake Project

2 cups icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp semi skimmed milk

Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy.
Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute.
If desired, add more icing sugar to make it stiffer.

Frost brownies using a palette knife and then drizzle with the A&W sauce.

On a side note , while making these I realised I had no weighing scales as here in Canada I'm hoping I can just rely on my measuring cups! but then I realised I had no way to measure 6 oz of chocolate from the slab I had bought.  So imagine my delight when I opened up the 225g box to find 8 little squares of individually wrapped chocolate.  1 square = 1 ounce! Problem solved.  

Now let's get on to the other inventive bakes that were entered this month! 

First off the mark was my proud to be a Texan friend, Chandrie.  We met whilst living in North Wales last year and I bonded with her instantly, because after all she was American and I love all things American! She assured me that when she went back home to the States this summer that she would join along with the challenge and true to her word she came up with these Texas-Hot Habanero Cookies! One of the ingredients, aside from chopped up Habanero chillies and choc chips is 'Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce'! I'm not sure I would be brave enough to try these but they'd certainly spice up any event you took them along to! 

Next up, my ever faithful challenge enterer and sender of yummy treats, Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker baked up this oh so delicious looking Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Although we can't agree over a love for coconut, we definitely have lots of other tastebuds in common and I had whipped up a Reese's peanut butter banana bread earlier in the month too - great minds think alike! 

Caroline Makes made these super cute Puppy Dog Cupcakes from the American book 'Hello Cupcake'.    She also used tons of American ingredients that she was able to pick up on her oh so exciting American road trip she went on recently, I'm so jealous! She grabbed some pumpkin marshmallows, chocolate wafers and a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix that helped her whip these up! 

Finally, my sister Mel managed to sneak these Cookies and Cream Brownies in.  It's a Lorraine Pascale recipe that I have had bookmarked for a while too but she beat me to it! Us Jones girls are HUGE Oreo lovers! I could seriously do with one of these right now, and I love the polka dot plate too! 

So there we have it, I'm hoping that now we're full into 'Fall' season as everyone calls it here that there will be plenty of Halloween/Thanksgiving/Pumpkin/Apple bakes coming up this month and I hope if you are the baker that is whipping them up then you will come and join up to the UBA challenge because we'd love to have you!

Until next time...happy baking! and blogging!


  1. Oh Gem - I'm sorry I missed this month. The round up looks great though and I love the look of your brownies - the sauce makes them look especially yummy! :)

    1. Hey Susie, no worries - I've had a crazy busy month too and nearly missed myself! haha.

  2. There's no way I could pack up my whole life into a couple of suitcases, well done! I've got the United Cakes of America book too so if there's a particular recipe you remember seeing, let me know and I'm sure I can type it out for you - or photocopy the page and scan it or something!

    1. Ah that's really sweet of you Caroline thanks! I'll let you know if I need one! Yeah I'm beginning to regret my packing choices, I wished I'd packed less clothes and more home accessories like photos and things for the wall - our place is looking pretty bare and I'd like it to be more homely!

  3. Yum yours sounds delish! I made root beer cookies with the extract that we got in the states and I wasn't convinced on the flavour! x

    1. Yeah I'm not too sure about the extract which is why I thought it's best to go for the real deal!

  4. Root beer brownies sound brother loves A&W root beer! How's Canada treating you? Lovely bakes in the round up! :-)

    1. Thanks Laura, Canada is amazing! We are absolutely loving it..and counting down the days now til the snow arrives and we can get our Whistler season passes! I haven't done much bakery checking out yet though as have been crazy busy with my job but I'm hoping to rectify that in the next few weeks!

  5. what a delicious idea! it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Ooh, tasty looking round-up!

    1. Thanks, I wish I could have tried a bit of all the entries too!

  7. I love the 'Hello Cupcake' book - has provided me with hours of baking fun!

    1. That's great, maybe I should pick up a copy too!

  8. I hope you're settling in ok. These look amazing!! You know how much I love root beer too :) I'm so pleased you put this dessert topper to good use - I'm savouring mine :)

    1. Yeah it did take me a while to get around to using it as I wanted to make sure it was something really special! Thanks so much for sending it to me!



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