Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet and Salty Brownies by Baked


Or at least that's what I wrote on the sign at the restaurant. There were no dissatisfied customers. Here is why:

1. Outrageously fudgey brownies
2. Thin crust on top of brownie
3. Salted caramel center
4. Sea salt and turbinado sugar topping

One of my favorite bakeries (and baking book) has added a new addition- Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented. In it, they release the recipe for their famed Sweet and Salty Brownies, as well as many other delicious takes on dessert, like a Mississippi Mud Pie, Grasshopper Bars and Buckeyes.

The point is, if you want to be very popular with your friends or impress friends you hope to have or simply boost your reputation as a comfort food genius or convince your children/husband that boxed brownies are not all there are in the world, I suggest you make these relatively easy brownies.

Sweet and Salty Brownies, adapted from Baked

Make the caramel first.

1 cup sugar
1/4 c water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 t fleur de sel (sea salt) or other coarse grained salt

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water, stirring over high heat until the sugar is dissolved. The let it cook without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, until the caramel is deep amber in color. Be ready at this point to whisk in the cream- the caramel gets dark very quickly at the end and continues cooking even after you turn off the heat. Whisk in the cream, being careful of the steam and bubbling that will occur. Then whisk in the salt and the sour cream. Set aside.

And then the Brownies

1 1/4 cup flour
1 t salt
2 T cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or chips)
2 sticks butter, cubed
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and buttering it or spraying it with cooking spray. You can skip the parchment if need be.

In a metal bowl set over a pan of an inch or two of simmering water, combine the cubed butter and the chocolate. Stir occasionally until the two are melted together.

While the butter and chocolate are melting, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder together.

When the butter and chocolate are melted and combined, remove from the heat and stir in the two sugars until the mixture is homogenous. Whisk in 3 of the eggs until just combined. Add the vanilla. Whisk in the remaining eggs until just combined. Finally, sift the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold the two together until just combined. If you mix it too much at this stage, your brownies will be cakey.

Pour half the brownie batter into the pan. Drizzle one cup of the caramel over the batter, avoiding the edges (any caramel touching the edge of the pan or exposed to the air during baking will get very hard.) Pour the rest of the batter over the caramel, spreading and smoothing it to cover it completely.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan once. You can stab the middle with a knife to make sure it's done, but be aware that if you stab where there is caramel, it may look undone even if its not.

Sprinkle the top of the brownies with fleur de sel and turbinado sugar (or other coarse salt and sugar). Let cool, slice and start looooving life!

1 comment:

  1. when i'm allowed to eat dairy again, can i place an order for a batch of these to be mailed to me? i'll pay you the big bucks.

    i'm not joking. not even a little bit.