As news arrived that we could be moving in just two short weeks, euphoria was quickly replaced by panic when I realised I'd no longer be able to get my weekly (OK, daily) Salted Caramel Brownie from the local bakery. Argh! So when I agreed to make dessert for our Bank Holiday Monday BBQ with our friends-who-have-given-us-a-place-to-live, I knew what needed to be done. I need these in my life.
The bakery brownies, dense with a slither of salted caramel running through the middle were perfect apart from one thing - they were less than an inch high but quite large in shape, more like a flapjack. No good. Brownies, to me, are a large squidgy cube allowing for maximum fudginess and little chance of going dry, so I made that change first by using a 20cm square tin (I'd prefer 23cm but the damned thing is in storage). The brownies I made were indeed chocolatey with salted caramel running through the middle but were sweeter than their bakery counterparts snd much, much fudgier. They were also much saltier than I'd like and I have a thing about salt in my boys diets, so I'll made sure I use a little less next time - the recipe below uses less salt than I used (for that intensely salty hit, use a full teaspoon of salt in your caramel). I'd also be tempted to put all of the caramel in the middle and not bother with the topping - one to try next time I guess!
I've another brownie recipe in mind to use for those who enjoy something sweet but don't have a hugely sweet tooth (such as me). However, should you be the sort who enjoys the feeling that their teeth may fall out straight after chowing down on their sweet treat, like The Man, punctuated and tamed by that seriously salty hit, then this is the recipe for you my friend.
- First, take 200g unsalted butter and melt in a pan over a low heat. Once melted, add 100g each of 70% cocoa and 50% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces (no less or you wont get that lovely fudgy-ness) and take off the heat. Leave until all the broken chocolate has melted.
- Next, take 175g Carnation Caramel from a 397g tin and mix in half a tsp of flaked sea salt - make sure you use the good stuff here, not your 30p saxa table salt. Set aside.
- Take the remaining caramel and whisk together with four medium eggs at room temperature and 200g golden caster sugar, until all mixed together
- Add your melted chocolate and butter concoction and beat until smooth
- Finally, weigh 130g plain flour and 50g cocoa and sift together over your chocolate and caramel mixture. Beat until just mixed - no more!
- In a greased and lined 20-23cm square tin, add half of your mixture and smooth. Take half of your caramel and sea salt mixture and make five 'stripes' across your brownie mixture, then finally top with the rest of your brownie batter.
- Bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes, until the brownie has risen but still has a slight wobble to the centre.
- Leave to cool, or if you're feeling rebellious (or simply didn't make this early enough in the day because your kids were being 'challenging'), eat just warm with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.
- Brush your teeth. Well.
Keep an eye out for the less sweet recipe to follow, should you feel the need.