I made these brownies for our neighbours. The girls in the next apartment over have had a terrible run of bad apartment luck. They’ve been broken into, woken up to find an unsolicited repairman in their bathroom, and just now I’ve seen posters up saying that one of their bikes has been stolen! And while I couldn’t help with that, I could try to help a little bit by bringing them some ridiculous brownies. And believe me, these brownies are ridiculous. They are SO fudgy, and SO chocolatey, and SO in this case underdone that you will seriously be satisfied with a small piece at a time. I’m not usually the guy who tells you how much or how little of something you should eat, but trust me on this one. They’re ALMOST too intense.
Also, I made caramel! I don’t have a candy thermometer or anything, I just went by colour, and my caramel-fan husband said it tasted right! I am so impressed with myself. I did not, however, use fancy expensive salt (which, p.s., I can’t even get at my supermarket), just regular, and it might have been insufficient for the saltiness. I don’t know. I don’t eat salted caramel ever, so I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like. At least it’s like caramel; it’s just the salted part of the thing I’m not entirely sure about.
The recipe comes from the famed Brown-Eyed Baker, and she also recommended throwing some coarse salt and sugar on top at the end, but I didn’t; I felt like it was so much already. Usually, by the way, I’d have halved this recipe – the amounts are pretty staggering (to me, anyway) – and it makes a big old pan, but I was giving half of it to the neighbours and keeping the other half for ourselves. So if you freak out at 2 sticks of butter, halve this recipe and make it in a 9×9 pan instead of a 9×13 (or in my case, an 8×12, haha).
Salted Caramel Brownies
for the caramel
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup (this refers to being light in colour, but I also used the light in terms of making you have to go buy new pants kind to no discernible ill effect)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sour cream
for the brownie
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder, dark if you’ve got it
11 oz, not even kidding, dark chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
for the caramel
Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pot until the sugar is dissolved, but it’s apparently important not to splash it up the sides of the pan, so don’t do that.
Turn the heat on to high and cook until dark amber, stirring often, and watch it, it burns quickly, so take it straight off the heat when it gets to the right colour.
Once it’s off the heat, slowly stir in the cream.
Stir in the salt.
Whisk in the sour cream.
Set it aside to cool while you make the brownies. Now would be a good time to taste a little bit of it.
for the brownies
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with tinfoil – the original said to line just the bottom and to use parchment, but I don’t have parchment, and believe me… line the whole thing. Do the hangy-over-edges thing so you have something to lift the brownies out of the pan with. Grease it with the butter wrapper.
In a smallish bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Now we are going to play a game I call “fun with microwaves.” Get a big bowl that will still fit in your microwave (a microwave-safe one, obviously), and put the chocolate and butter in it. Melt those bad larries together in the microwave, a minute at a time and then stirring.
Whisk the sugars into the still-hot bowl.
Whisk in 3 of the eggs until just combined.
Now – and stop me if I’m getting too crazy for you here – whisk in the other 2 eggs. Again until just combined. The risk here is cakiness, which, honestly, is not the worst thing in the world, and these things turn out SO fudgy that maybe a little cakey texture to lighten that up wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Fold the flour mixture in with a spatula, a little at a time, until it’s nearly all combined. A few streaks of flour here and there are fine.
Pour half the brownie batter into the pan and smooth it out so it’s even.
Drizzle the caramel over it, leaving a half-inch margin around the edges, This is so that the caramel doesn’t wind up sticking to the walls of the pan, but it’s going to happen in a couple instances anyway, so don’t get too bent out of shape about it.
Scoop the rest of the batter on top and try to smooth it out gently so it doesn’t squeeze the caramel out at the sides. This is going to be a losing battle but try your best.
Pop the pan into the oven for 15 minutes.
Rotate the pan and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Mine definitely took on the longer side, and the moist crumb situation was kind of a lie, since the lower half of the center of the pan was prettttttty gooey still. But I wasn’t too bothered. Just store them in the fridge if this is the case – they’ll be super fudgy and dense.
So… you probably know what happened with the hockey playoffs I was talking about in my last post, but today we just got back from Philadelphia, where Matt was competing in their Air Guitar regional – which was fun, but even better was his performance HERE the night before: he made it to the second round for the first time and ultimately came in 4th! SO AWESOME.