Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Brownies with salted caramel sauce

Don't forget to enter my Driscoll's berries giveaway!

I'm not very good at bookmarking recipes from magazines that I want to try. I've subscribed to Bon Appetit for several years now and have only made a handful of their recipes. Addie was rearranging our magazine stash one day when I saw a headline on the cover of the April 2013 issue that caught my eye - caramel glazed brownies. How on earth did I miss this almost a year ago?

I read through the ingredient list, and lo and behold, I already had everything on hand. I found some time on a busy Sunday morning to bake these and asked my little girl to help. She liked seeing the dark chocolate-y brownies go into the pan and kept watching the oven as the brownies baked. When the brownies were done, she said, "Mmm! Those look yummy!"

She was right, of course. The brownies were outrageously good and very rich. I underbaked mine a bit so my brownies would be gooey instead of cake-y. They firmed up overnight and were the perfect texture... almost a melt-in-your mouth kind of brownie. The caramel sauce was ridiculous, and I could have eaten that straight with a spoon. I recommend adding a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top of these to cut down on the brownie's sweetness, since you get a double whammy from the bar itself and the caramel sauce.

Yes, these brownies are a bit more complicated than your average brownie, but then again, these aren't your average brownie. These were fantastic and something that I'd make to wow my friends and family.

Brownies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark)
  • 1 TBSP instant espresso powder (I omitted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Salted caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Directions
For the brownies: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line an 8x8 inch baking pan and set aside (I used my silicone baking pan and did not grease it).

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and chopped chocolate in the microwave. Heat in 15 second bursts until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir well so that chocolate mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the eggs and sugar together on medium speed until it is pale yellow. Add in the vanilla extract and continue mixing. Turn the mixer down to low and add the melted chocolate mixture until it is fully incorporated. Then slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is uniform.

Turn off the mixer and add the chocolate chips in by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber/silicone spatula.

Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the salted caramel sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the water. Turn your stove to medium high heat and allow the sugar to boil. Use a silicone spatula to stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, allow the sugar to continue boiling until it turns a deep amber color (about 5-8 minutes). Do not stir the saucepan during this stage. Remove the caramel from the heat and turn off the stove.

Quickly whisk in the heavy cream and butter and continue to mix until the sauce is smooth. The mixture will bubble vigorously. Allow the caramel to cool slightly - it will thicken up a bit.

Once the brownies are fully cooled, slice into 16 squares and drizzle the tops with the caramel sauce. Sprinkle the tops with the flaky sea salt and serve.

Brownies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for several days. They can also be stored in the refrigerator.

Yield: 16 brownies

Source: Zest! Exciting Food Creations in Indianapolis, via Bon Appetit, April 2013 issue


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