Brownies are something that seem so easy to make but once you over mix the batter a tad bit or bake them a minute too long they just don’t turn out right. My idea of a perfect brownie is fudgy, moist and dense. These brownies definitely lived up to my expectations. I got the recipe from this book. I bought it in a bookshop in Estonia and read it from start to end the same day. The authors of the book, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, are owners of a bakery in Brooklyn and the book is basically a collection of classic American desserts reinvented somehow. There are so many yummy recipes I need to try sometime soon but especially the brownie recipe struck my attention. I had heard about the Baked Boys’ famous brownies so I knew it was something I needed to try.
This recipe had a little twist to it however. Between the batter hides a thin layer of salted caramel. It’s not a lot and the caramel flavor is certainly not overpowering but it definitely adds some sweetness to the rich and dark chocolate brownie.
The recipe specifically instructed not to use too much caramel sauce between the layers since caramel gets burned easily. I used the leftover caramel to drizzle it on top of the post-baked brownie. I also sprinkled it with some sea salt.
I find the most important step to getting a fudgy brownie is not over beating it after adding the eggs. I used a wire whisk or a rubber spatula, not once did I use my electric mixer in this recipe. Once too much air gets into the batter the brownie will get cakey and well..kind of boring.
I also reduced the recipe and use 3/4ths of what was instructed in the original recipe since I don’t have a proper 9-by-13-inch brownie pan. So I used my 10-inch(26 cm) round springform pan instead and it worked fine.
I’m also in love with the vanilla extract I bought in Estonia. See, in Austria they don’t sell vanilla extract anywhere. They only have vanilla sugar or whole vanilla beans. Or vanilla essence (which is horrendous)…But when I found Nielsen Massey’s vanilla extract in an estonian grocery store I squeeled with delight. It was very expensive however, so I plan on using it sparingly.
So onto the recipe…
Sweet and Salty Brownies
via Baked explorations
for the caramel sauce
150 g fine caster sugar
95 ml heavy whipping cream
generous pinch of sea salt
3 tblsp. sour cream
lightly whisk the sugar and water together in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Do not stir while it’s boiling but brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush from time to time to avoid sugar crystals from forming. When the mixture is a dark amber in color take it off the heat, mix in the cream slowly and add the sea salt. Don’t be tempted to lick the spoon since the caramel is very hot and you might burn your tongue. Then add the sour cream and whisk lightly until combined.
for the brownie
120 g all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1.5 tblsp. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
235 g good quality dark chocolate (60-70%)
170 g butter
225 g fine caster sugar
60 g brown sugar
1.5 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat you oven to 180° Celsius or 350° Fahrenheit. Butter a 10 inch round springform pan (or a brownie pan if you have one) and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper lightly.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
In a saucepan set over a pot of simmering water (the bottom of the saucepan should not touch the water) add the chocolate and butter and melt over low heat until completely melted. Turn off the heat but don’t take the pots off the stove yet and whisk in the sugars until completely dissolved.
Now take the saucepan off the heat and add two eggs to the batter and lightly whisk just until incorporated. Add the remaining eggs and whisk just until combined. Next add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Do not over mix the batter at this point.
Lastly sprinkle the flour on to the batter and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula until a few traces of lour are still visible.
Pour half of the batter in you pan and spread the caramel sauce in the middle without letting it get to near to the sides of the pan or it will burn while baking. Spoon the remaining brownie batter on top and smooth the batter.
Bake for 30 minutes rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in them comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Let the brownies cool completely, sprinkle them with sea salt and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce.
Serve and enjoy 🙂
I actually turned the oven off after 25 minutes and let them rest in the oven for a few minutes since I was afraid of over baking my brownies.