sea salt caramel brownies

Posted on March 7, 2011. Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , |


And the winner is?  Well…see the title.  The brownies took an early lead and were able to hold off a late surge from the Cranberry Marzipan Scones.

Sidenote: those of you who threatened me to make the scones anyway and ignore the results, fear not.  I’m hosting a brunch this Saturday for three of my favorite ladies and the scones will be making their debut.  To me, scones are usually an excuse to enjoy the English treat of clotted cream (seriously – if you haven’t tried it, hunt it down immediately) so I’m happy to try out this recipe as well.

Anyway, back to the brownies.  I admit this recipe was a slightly higher level of difficulty due to the caramel which usually is not the easiest of dishes to make.  At this point, I have become more experienced because my absolute favorite dessert in the whole world features two types of caramel and after I stopped working in Minneapolis and being able to eat at the restaurant 112, it was necessary to learn how to recreate the dish.  However I do admit that I’ve had my share of challenges with caramel in the past and it always makes me a little nervous.  Anytime you manage to destroy two of your mother’s pans that she has had for 30+ years the night before Thanksgiving on one single dish…well…it sort of stays with you.

As for the recipe, I used one from another blog called Doughmesstic with a minor change.  Instead of vanilla extract in the caramel, I used vanilla bean.  It’s a technique used in the aforementioned best dessert ever and I love the flavor and the little dots of bean.  If you have vanilla bean on hand, give it a shot.  If not, just replace with 1 tsp of vanilla.  Annnyway…onto the recipe…

Sea Salt Caramel:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt (I used Himalayan pink salt from the Salt Sisters Online)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 inch piece of vanilla bean
1/4 cup sour cream

In a small saucepan, add the cream and salt and set over low heat until the salt is dissolved.  If using vanilla bean, run a small knife through the center to split the pod and scrape the seeds out with the back of the knife.  Add both the seeds and the pod to the warming cream mixture.  I kept it on the low heat until I was ready to add it to the sugars.  Make sure you remove the pod before you add the cream to the sugar.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup and put over medium-high heat.  I stirred the two sugars together but once I put the heat on and the sugar started melting, I used the “swirl” method to move the mixture around the pan.  Continue to cook over medium-high heat, swirling frequently (but not constantly) until the sugar becomes medium golden brown.  You’ll be able to smell the cooked sugar smell.  Be careful as it starts to cook because it happens very quickly and can go from good to bad in a very short period of time (I’d say 5-7 minutes but go by color).  For some reason, I always think of the movie Jurassic Park and the piece of amber with the mosquito in it for color.  Don’t judge me – it works.  But you are looking for the “caramel” color.  Pull the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream mixture and the sour cream.  The sugar will bubble and “seize up” in a way but don’t worry!  Put the mixture back on medium low heat and continue to whisk slowly until the sugar reincorporates into the cream mixture.  Once the sugar has dissolved again, take the mixture off the heat and get to work on the brownies.

Brownies:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch salt
3 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup
half of the above caramel recipe

Preheat oven to 325F.  Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.  Let cool for 5 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.  Then add flour, salt, syrup and chocolate/butter mixture and blend well.

In a greased 8×8 pan (I used foil and that was a good decision), pour a little over half the batter into the pan and bake for 18 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pour the caramel over the brownies (save the other half of the caramel recipe for ice cream or your finger).  On top of the caramel, add the rest of the brownie batter.  It may have stiffened up a bit, but just swirl it around a bit with a spoon and/or a finger.

Now the recipe I used said to bake for another 18-22 minutes and remove and that the brownies would be a little shaky still because of the caramel but you don’t want to overbake them.  I decided to leave them in for an extra 5 minutes because mine seemed especially shaky after 22 minutes.  I would keep them in for the full 22 minutes and then check them every few minutes after that if they still seem very underdone.  Mine are still VERY “fudgy” in the middle but the edges are perfect.

Just a warning…these are dangerous and delightful.  And insanely rich so make sure you have some milk nearby!

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4 Responses to “sea salt caramel brownies”

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oh.my.god. thank you for sharing.

Amazing. The end.

OH MY GOD…DELISH! TOTALLY DELISH!

[…] since in the two months I’ve been blogging, I have now done as many desserts (this and salted caramel brownies) and I made reference to a third that is one of my absolute favorites.  It might have something to […]


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