Sunday, 13 March 2011

salted caramel brownies

Salted caramel brownies

Okay, okay I admit it... I'm a food addict. I've said it. Whilst men may fantasise about sex every 7 seconds I think about, well, food frankly. Yep, it's a bit sad but then I've never claimed to be anything else.

Over the last week I've been unfaithful the boyfriend and spent far too long fantasising about salted caramel brownies. Salted caramel with chocolate is a bit trendy at the moment but don't let that put you off. Something a bit special happens when the salt and caramel play together. Plus who can say no to a chocolate hit that comes in brownie form?

Eventually Sunday afternoon came around and I found myself with a few hours to try out an idea I had of putting the two together. I made my favourite brownie recipe as usual and added a salted caramel mixture about 20 minutes before the end off cooking so that it sinks gently in the surface of the brownie.

Brownie Recipe (taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook - always reliable)

200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter (I wont tell anybody if you happen to use salted)
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 medium eggs

Preheat oven to 170 degrees
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl above simmering water. Once melted add the sugar. Take off the heat and add the sifted flour until well incorporated. Finally add the eggs, mix till smooth.
Put into a greased and floured brownie tin (33x23x5cm).
It will take about 30-35 mins, be careful not to overcook. It should be flakey but still soft in the centre.

Salted Caramel

300g caster sugar
150m water
small tub of sour cream approx 150 ml
8 pinches of good quality sea salt ( or to your own taste)

In a heavy saucepan with a low heat add the sugar and water together. Stir until dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved you can increase the heat up to a strong simmer.  You don't need to stir at this stage, just give it a gentle swirl ever couple of minutes.
After about 15 minutes the sugar will start to colour once it goes to a lovely rich caramel colour take it off the heat and add the sour cream and salt.
Be really careful as it will "fizz" up at this stage. As it starts to cool it gets gloopier and more wonderful. The picture was taken when it was just added and much thinner than the finished article.

This makes about twice the quantity needed for the brownies so you can use the other half over ice cream later in the week.

Im really pleased with how they worked out. The brownie is dense, chewy and very chocolatey and the salted caramel is the sticky, intriguing and more-ish topping. The acid test will be when I take them in to work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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