When a very dear friend of mine casually mentioned her craving for caramel sea salt brownies, I took it upon me personally to whip up a batch and send her. But there was one obstacle: I had yet to make a good batch of regular brownies! My story goes like this – my mother frequently made walnut dark chocolate brownies that were just rightly fudgy on the inside, crackling on top, and was almost always eaten straight from the tray. However, during our many moves across seas and oceans, that handwritten recipe got lost somewhere amongst the luggage and boxes; and ever since we both have made countless attempts with each one going straight in the bin until we finally accepted defeat 4 years ago and refused to even go near one again.
But this time it was personal. This year is all about trying new things, having great experiences, and tackling fearsome subjects, i.e. the brownie. And so, I aimed straight for the gourmet kinds – I mean, go big or go home right?
So here it is – my first attempt in four years and finally a successful time and the best-est of the joy? Feeding my dear friend 🙂
Caramel: The key to making a good caramel sauce is firstly, a lot of practice. Secondly, while you melt the sugar, do not poke, prod or meddle with it. Allow the sugar to melt on its own into caramel. You may only swirl the pot if required – otherwise best to let it form on its own.
Cake tin: Use a smaller tin, but deeper – so that the caramel doesn’t ooze out into your oven.
Warning: May be very hard to resist while it’s cooling. Also, you will only need to make this once to perfect your hand at it.
Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for what happens after you’re addicted to baking (and hence, eating) them.
[Adapted from: BBC Good Food]
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp espresso
- 125g dark chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Heat the sugar on medium heat in a non-stick pot.
- Do not use a spoon, fork or whisk. Let the sugar melt on it’s own, swirling the pot by it’s handle a few times only.
- Once the caramel forms and starts to bubble into a dark brown hue, remove from heat and add in the butter. Using a spatula, stir the butter into the sugar until it melts completely.
- Place the pot back into the heat.
- Pour the cream in, whisking continuously and sprinkle in the sea salt.
- Remove the pot after 30 seconds.
- Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Whisk the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and espresso together.
- Fold in the flour and cocoa powder. And then the chocolate chips.
- Pour half the batter into the greased and lined pan.
- Spread caramel into the centre.
- Then cover with remaining batter.
- Sprinkle some sea salt on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the brownies cool completely within the pan (about 30 minutes).
- Slice them up and remove carefully onto serving tray.
- (Best with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream)