Weren’t you guys already excited about these just from hearing the name? I sure was. Sweet and Salty is my favorite combination. Chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn and candy at the movies and kettle corn are some of my favorite things. I just love how salted desserts have become a trend lately. I feel like everywhere I turn in this city there are salted things. (Hot chocolate, caramels and peanut butter cookies at a local bakery to name a few.)
Anyway- when I was given the “Baked” cookbook as a gift, this was the first recipe I wanted to make. Now, once again- I chose to try to make these with exactly 2 hours from beginning to end. AND I’d promised a friend I’d bring her a few. So I literally made these at superhero speed. I am seriously lucky I didn’t mess something up. (Or worse scorch myself on the caramel which could have very well happened.)
Basically these brownies consist of a later of batter, a layer of salted caramel and another brownie layer. Then they are topped with sugar and salt. They were actually pretty easy! I fashioned a double boiler out of a metal boil and a kettle and that worked great.
Make these and then either give them ALL away. Otherwise you will eat them all. (But if you are going through a break-up or any other equally devastating situation you should totally keep them. These would help a lot.)
Notes: This recipe calls for lots of “fleur de sel”, but I couldn’t find it for under $15 a bottle. SO- I just used freshly ground sea salt and it worked out fine. I tried to note that in the recipe the first couple of times they asked for it.
Also- they make a big deal of not letting the caramel layer reach the edges. I wasn’t able to totally avoid this though and it was really fine. In fact- I was told that the edge pieces with the crispy caramel were the “best part.”
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 TBSP light corn syrup
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1 tsp fleur de sel or freshly ground sea salt
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1 and 1/4 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 TBSP dark cocoa powder
- 11 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 & 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 and 1/2 tsp fleur de sel/freshly ground sea salt
- 1 tsp coarse sugar
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 c. water, stirring together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat, until a thermometer reads 350 degrees (or color is dark amber in color.) *I don't have a candy thermometer, and I just removed it from heat with the color looked right.
- Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will bubble up). Then add the salt. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water.
- Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water. Whisk in both sugars until completely combined. Removed bowl from pan.
- Add 3 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 incorporated. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Add the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until there is just a trace of the flour mixture remaining.
- Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Drizzle and 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce (not all of it) over the batter, trying to stay away from the edges. Gently spread the caramel sauce evenly. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the remaining batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently over the caramel.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and the coarse sugar.
- Cool completely before serving.