Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Caramel brownies and changing my mind in a matter of moments

Caramel brownies / Brownies com caramelo

One of my cooking/baking pet peeves – and I have several – is that I hate it when I choose a certain recipe and it says there that there will be some frosting/filling/whatever left: it immediately puts me off making it because I know that the frosting/filling/whatever will probably go to waste.

After much delay I decided to make these brownies – even though there would be caramel sauce left. OK, let’s make an exception. The funny thing was that I went from “damn, there is a lot of caramel left” to “damn, there is not enough caramel left!” in a matter of moments – all it took was a spoonful of the mixture. :D

See? Movies are not the only thing I change my mind about. :D

Caramel brownies
slightly adapted from the gorgeous Baked Explorations

1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
½ teaspoon fleur de sel - I used Maldon salt
¼ cup sour cream*

1 ¼ cups (175g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
308g (11oz) dark chocolate (60-72% cocoa solids), chopped – I used 100g of 70% chocolate + 208g of 53%
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, diced
1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
½ cup (88g) packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the caramel: in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and the corn syrup with ¼ cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the saucepan. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber in color, 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring, and the fleur de sel – be careful because mixture will bubble like crazy. Whisk in the sour cream and cool completely.

Now the brownie: preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 22.5x32.5cm (9x13in) light-colored metal or glass pan**, line the bottom and sides with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides, forming “handles”. Butter the paper, too.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until the ingredients are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the water. Mixture should be at room temperature.
Add 3 eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir – do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the batter and, using a spatula, fold them into the batter until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
Assembling: pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle ¾ cup of the caramel over the batter in a zigzag pattern, making sure it doesn’t reach the foil or it will burn. Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly over the batter. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the remaining brownie batter over the caramel. Smooth the brownie layer with a spatula, covering the caramel layer completely.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check if the brownies are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the pan – it should come out with a few moist crumbs (mine needed 45 minutes in the oven).
Remove from the oven and cool completely over a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve (with the remaining caramel sauce if you like).

* homemade sour cream: mix ¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream with 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in room temperature for 1 hour or until thick

** I made the exact recipe above using a 20x30cm (8x12in) pan

Makes 16 large brownies


My Little Expat Kitchen said...

I always think that it's great when recipes say there'll be sauce left. It gives me an excuse to reach for a spoon and secretly sample some, or a lot.

Your brownies look amazing!

martina said...

I love that napkin!!! And the brownies, too!
cheers Martina

Anonymous said...

I had some leftover caramel sauce too from my salted caramel cheesecake. Just mixed it with some leftover walnuts and crunched away :P I'm terrible.

Sashquatch said...

I was going to say when i read 'even though there would be caramel sauce left' that surely that would be an excellent reason TO make them! But then i read your follow up bit and saw that you had seen the light :) This looks like a crazily delicious recipe, caramel and chocolate - match made in heaven :)

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

Those brownies look amazing and I'd happily eat your extra caramel!

Julia @Mélanger said...

I'm a little like you. Sometimes I avoid baking something if there's going to be waste. But caramel is NEVER wasted in this house.

I don't have Baked Explorations. From your description, you would recommend it?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Julia, I really like the book, but haven't used it much. I think the recipes look great and I cannot wait to use it more often.
Hope it helps, sweetie!

Jennywenny said...

Ha! There is never too much caramel!! Although I'd suggest you try the recipe from David Lebovitz's Room for Dessert. Truly divine! The butter gets all caramelized in there too, really the most lovely stuff!

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