My favorite brownie recipe just got better.

 

A few weeks ago I discovered Baked Brownies and completely fell in love. Several people then suggested I try the Sweet and Salty Brownies from Baked Explorations, which is a variation on the Baked brownie that adds a layer of salted caramel.

I was a little hesitant to try this out at first. I’ve had other desserts with salted caramel and haven’t really enjoyed it. And I was afraid adding caramel to the brownies would be too sweet and overpowering.

But I decided to give it a go this weekend and find out once and for all whether I liked it. And it turns out the creators of Baked Explorations know what they are doing. These brownies are even more amazing than the original.

The salted caramel is actually baked into the brownie so that it disappears inside the brownie. You don’t see the caramel, but it makes the interior of the brownie very rich, moist and fudgy.

The taste of the caramel isn’t overpowering. In fact, you can barely tell it’s inside of the brownie except for the edge pieces where the caramel bubbled over. The play between salty and sweet makes this brownie even more enjoyable.

I ended up baking these brownies in a smaller pan in order to make them fatter. I have been craving big, fat brownies ever since seeing some at the farmers’ maket.

These brownies took a little extra time to make, but it was worth the effort. These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten.

Sweet and Salty Brownies
Author: Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Prep time: 35 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Ingredients
  • Salted caramel filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • For the Brownie
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For the caramel filling, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan, stirring carefully so as not to splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350F or until the mixture is dark amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream, and then the Fleur de Sel. Whisk in the sour cream and set aside to cool. (Watch carefully over the stove as soon as the mixture starts turning golden brown because it will burn easily if you let it cook too high and too long. Also be sure to add the cream as soon as you remove from heat. I waited a few extra minutes and the caramel completely solidified and I had to start over.)
  2. For the brownie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9 x 13 inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
  5. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature at this point.
  6. Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
  7. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is a just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
  8. To assemble the brownie, pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag pattern, taking care to make sure the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use your offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.
  9. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  10. Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel and 1 teaspoon coarse sugar. (I skipped this step)
  11. Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.

 

   

10 Responses to “Sweet and Salty Brownies”

  1. Snippets of Thyme — August 8, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I can’t believe how long it has been since we have had brownies over here! Yours looks so moist and delicious.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 8th, 2011 @ 8:36 am

      These are really moist, fudgy, gooey. Delicious. I’ve been craving brownies every week lately so I’ve been making a lot.

  2. leanne — August 8, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Oh, you should add the fleur de sel+sugar mix! I thought it would make the brownies too salty, but it really doesn’t. The salt gives you a nice crunch and then just adds to the sweet/salty flavor overall. I love these brownies.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 8th, 2011 @ 8:36 am

      Yeah I’m going to do that next time! I left it out this time because I thought I wouldn’t like eating the salt on top of my brownies, but since I like everything else about this creation, I’m pretty sure I’d like the fleur de sel + sugar on top! I’m already planning on making this again. So good. Messy but good.

  3. Carol — August 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I still haven’t made this yet but I think I’ll do that this weekend. Need to pick up some sour cream.

    • Kirbie replied: — August 8th, 2011 @ 9:36 am

      I really loved these. I didn’t think I would.

  4. jenny — September 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Yum! I’ve recently found a new caramel recipe that I am just in love with in david lebowitz’s book. the butter is cooked with the sugar so that caramelizes too, its even more delicious!

    As for sour cream, I’ve stopped buying that, I usually have heavy cream in the fridge and I just sour it with a little lemon juice or vinegar.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

      Oh I’ve seen that recipe. That does look good. Interesting tip for the sour cream. Though I usually have sour cream in the house, so usually I’m okay.

  5. Zee — March 21, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Yum! Does this have a flaky top? Love that!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 21st, 2014 @ 8:44 am

      yes it has a little bit of a flaky top which you can kind of see from the photos

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