Would you just look that these brownies! They were delicious - maybe the best ever. Fudgy chocolatey goodness with caramel oozing out the center and drizzled on top, sprinkled with sea salt and coarse sugar. A glass of milk with these is not optional.
I had given some away...
...but there were plenty for us too.
The ones hanging around were devoured, and then the kids, realizing that they were all gone, had that surprised, shocked, sad, disappointed look on their faces when they asked, "Who ate the last brownie?".
No one confessed. I suppose I'll just have to make more.
Sweet & Salty Brownie
from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Makes one 9x13 pan of brownies - how many you decide to cut from that is a personal decision!
For the caramel filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, or other mild sea salt
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 (2 sticks) 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
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon coarse sugar
Make the Caramel:
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until and instant read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color (keep a close eye on the caramel at all times, as it goes from golden brown to black and burnt very quickly), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream (careful, it will bubble up ) and then the fleur de sel. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
Make the Brownie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9 by 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.
Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat 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 just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
Assemble the Sweet & Salty 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, drizzle on desired amount of extra caramel and sprinkle with fleur de sel and coarse sugar.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
The brownies can be stored, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.