RECIPE #293, DAY #490
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Salted Caramel Brownies,” from Ina Garten’s recipe in Food Network Recipe combined with her online recipe for “Caramel Sauce”*
TIMING: 2 hours, some of it waiting around, some of it baby-sitting the stove
DIFFICULTY: It would be best made by someone with some pastry experience, but you could try
TOOLS: Stand mixer, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, candy thermometer, etc.
COOK TYPE: Stovetop and oven
HEALTH: Brownies. Add some milk and eat once in a blue moon.
EXPERIENCE: I really like my brownies to be rich and dark, and Kevin prefers more milky-chocolate. These are somewhere in between, which made them a nice compromise. They are soft enough that they need a fork to eat (which is how I prefer a brownie), so they won’t work too well as a cut-and-carry brownie.
With the caramel and the salt, these are very impressive for guests (or for snuggling up on the couch with a glass of milk and a great show).
NOTES: Caramel is in the candy-making category, which requires some experience, some safety precautions, and some proper tools. Technically, most people use a double boiler, but I use an old Le Cruesset pan with careful attention and it always works for me. I also love a candy thermometer, and rarely make candy without knowing the proper temperature for making it. Please be careful! as sugar gets extremely hot when you cook it.
When you add the cream, your sauce will act crazy. That’s normal. It may also seize, but just keep stirring over low and it should turn out all right.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter and flour a 9×12 inch baking pan.
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt 1/2 pound butter, 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, and 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, quickly whisk together 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons espresso or strong-brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- When 15 minutes are up, stir chocolate into the egg mixture and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, toss 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons all purpose flour. Set both aside.
- Meanwhile, in a very heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar with 1/3 cup water. Stir until it dissolves. STOP STIRRING (don’t touch!) and continue to cook until temperature reaches 350F.
- Turn heat to low and whisk in 1 1/4 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until caramel becomes a smooth sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
- When chocolate has cooled, quickly mix together chocolate mixture, flour mixture, and then chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the prepared pan and bake fro 35 minutes, until toothpick just comes out clean.
- Remove brownies from oven and immediately drizzle over 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce.
- Cool completely before serving topped with flaked salt, such as Maldon Sea Salt.
Serve with a cup of cold milk and smiles all ’round.
*Recipe changed from the original.