Sweet and Salty Brownies
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|
- 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
- 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.)
- For the brownie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.