I have a terrible sense of estimation. It’s almost as if guess work just isn’t my thing. I’m good at Guess Who; well, either my sister or I will win. But estimation requires this bit of calculated guess work and that, my friend, is the difficult part. You couldn’t even reduce it to luck, because it mostly isn’t. And quite possibly, I’d have to attribute part of this senseless estimation to my mother. Ever since I can remember, my mother has been a fan of over ordering, over estimating, over budgeting just to ensure we’d never have to go without or not have enough food to go around. And that’s the brilliance of this household, you can bet your knee-high socks we’ll never let you go hungry.
But the problem is… some days we’re left with half a jar of salted caramel sauce plus half a tub of cream cheese frosting with no cake to frost. It’s not really a bad problem to have, just one that requires a bit of baking to fix. I know right- bake more to use up the leftovers… pretty ironic. But then you take this magical salted caramel filled brownie to the office and remind them that it’s finally Wednesday and everyone will instantly cheer up. And that’s where the real magic lies!
This brownie comes from Baked NYC of which I will soon be visiting no doubt in about three weeks time. I AM SO EXCITED!
Sweet and Salty Brownies (Adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups GF flour blend
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces (311g) good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To Prepare Filling
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 an instant-read thermometer reads 175 C, or until the mixture is dark amber in colour, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream (it will bubble up and splatter) and then the salt. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
To Prepare the Brownie
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light coloured metal 9 x 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 not be fudgey.
Tip the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is a just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
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,try to ensure the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use your spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer. In 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 to 35 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 (when it’s completely clean it will be dry)
Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or fleur de sel) and 1 teaspoon coarse sugar.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving. I love mine straight from the fridge, totally fudgey and cold.