There is a famous bakery in New York called “Baked”. How can you not love a place called that? Direct, to the point and it tells you in one word all you need to know. Period. One of these days I have to visit that darned bakery. They are known for their ”sweet and salty brownie” which is basically a fudgy brownie [yep, I love fudgy] with a middle layer of gooey salted caramel [yep, I love gooey salted caramel].
I will get in line for anything with salted caramel. I might even consider give a pint of blood for salted caramel. Okay, maybe I have to rethink that.
The boys of Baked, [Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito] have two cookbooks out and the one titled Baked Explorations includes this brownie recipe on page 93. Yes, I went ripping to page 93 for some good food porn of that brownie. I was disappointed though, no food porn. I mean, you can’t get sexier than a ooey gooey carameley brownie. What were they thinking??
That would have been a serious money shot. The food network actually featured this brownie on “The best thing I ever ate”. Ever since that show I have been meaning to try this recipe.
With an endorsement like that, how could you not be tempted.
I was tempted.
The show had a slow motion close up of the brownie as it’s being pulled apart with the gooey caramel oozing out. There is nothing like slow motion food porn. You had me at salted caramel. So I decided I would just have to create my own food porn….And here it is.
Make the salted caramel:
1 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 heavy cream
1 tsp. fleur de sel (or kosher salt would work)
1/4 Cup sour cream
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water, stirring them together carefully. Cook over high heat until it is dark amber color; about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (careful it will bubble and sputter), then add the salt. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
For the brownie:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dark unsweetened cocoa (like Valrhona) [this is not the time to go cheap baby]
11 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72 %), 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 lg. eggs, at room temp
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with a parchment sling and spray with non-stick baking spray.
2. In a medium blowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
3. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk until combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
5. 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 flour mixture visible.
Assembly in pan:
Pour half the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 Cup caramel over the brownie in a zigzag pattern, taking care not so the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use an 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. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and coarse sugar.
Cool completely before cutting.
*Directions disclaimer: Okay, I did not follow the baking directions in the cookbook. I tried making these brownies the first time and all the caramel melted into the brownie which quite frankly ticked me off and I did not like, so the second time around I chose a different method. I admit; the caramel layer was a little runny, so next time I’ll have to play around with this a bit, but here is what I did. [By the way, have you ever had one of those moments where you feel someone gives you a recipe but they are not really straight forward about the secret to the method of a recipe?]
I’m just sayin…
Anyway, here is what I did.
I poured half the brownie mix into the pan and baked at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. I then let the brownies cool for 20 minutes and I poured in cold caramel. I then ever so carefully poured the rest of the batter on top of the caramel, jacked up the temperature on the oven to 350 degrees and baked for 20 minutes. I would say the caramel was slightly runny than what I wanted, so maybe next time I would not keep the caramel cold but at room temp. Play around with it and see what works for you. I would rather have my caramel a little runny than not gooey at all. I have another theory also; I would keep the caramel cold but next time I would cut back on the cream in the caramel recipe maybe by half. Don’t let this recipe discourage you though, they are really delicious.
For the assembly:
1 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel
1 tsp. coarse sugar (like them sprinkled with just the salt as I feel they are sweet enough)
Please check out my friend Lisa’s blog who is hosting a cookie sharing this week at:
to find some other fun and inspiring recipes!