Salted Caramel Brownies
The salted caramel brownie is an ingenious combination of blond, bittersweet caramel and dark, bittersweet chocolate. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of New York's Baked bakeries are not the first to note the affinity of caramel and chocolate, but by emphasizing the bitter, sweet and salty notes in both, they’ve made that rare thing — a perfectly balanced bite. The bittersweetness of the caramel can be easily adjusted by cooking it less (for a milder, Kraft-like taste) or more (edgier, stronger).
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1cup/200 grams granulated sugar
- 2tablespoons/30 milliliters light corn syrup
- ½cup/120 milliliters heavy cream
- ¾teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼cup/115 grams sour cream
- 2sticks/225 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, more for greasing pan
- 1 ¼cups/150 grams all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon salt
- 2tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11ounces/300 grams dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 ½cups/300 grams granulated sugar
- ½cup/105 grams firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5eggs, at room temperature
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- Coarse sugar (such as raw or turbinado) and flaky salt, for sprinkling
Step 1Make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat, stirring gently, until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees or until the mixture is dark amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, slowly pour in heavy cream and salt (it will foam up) and whisk. Whisk in sour cream (it may look lumpy at first) and set aside to cool. Taste and add salt if needed to give the caramel a good balance of salty and sweet.
Step 2Make the brownies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use butter (or baking spray) to lightly grease a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter or spray the parchment.
Step 3In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cocoa powder.
Step 4Melt chocolate and butter together, either in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, or in a microwave at low heat, working in 30-second bursts. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and combined. Whisk in sugars. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Step 5Using a sturdy whisk, add eggs one by one, whisking just until combined. Stir in vanilla.
Step 6Gently pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold together just until few streaks of flour are visible; do not overmix.
Step 7Pour batter into the pan and let settle. Drizzle caramel sauce over batter until batter is almost covered. (You may not use all the caramel.) On the surface, use the tip of a butter knife or icing spatula to swirl the batter and caramel together. Don’t worry if it looks messy.
Step 8Bake 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. At the 30-minute mark, shake the pan gently to test for doneness. When done, the brownies will be barely set in the center and puffed, but not dry, around the edges. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with coarse sugar and salt.
Step 9Let cool to room temperature before cutting. After cutting, if desired, drizzle any remaining caramel over the top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.