Suzi is serving this brownie every week at Cooking by the Book. Teams come here to cook a meal together and then gobble up their creations for lunch or dinner. Suzi put these brownies on the menu, knowing that folks would home in on the idea of a brownie and caramel and salt. They do.
This recipe appeared in the New York Times and was credited to Baked, the quite remarkable bakery chain that began in Red Hook. Luckily for me, a new Baked is here in Tribeca and I can walk three blocks to buy a brownie any day. But, but, I must say that having the smell of these baking in your own kitchen is a treat. And to sample them warm and gooey, well, that’s just an incomparable over the top dessert.
The caramel here has a secret ingredient: sour cream. How does it taste? Doubly caramel!
Like brownies? Be prepared to fall in love all over again.
Salted Caramel Brownies
Yield: about 12 depending on your knife skills, and your avarice!
For the caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ cup sour cream
For the brownies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces plus more to grease the pan
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate 60 to 72% cocoa, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Coarse sugar and flaky salt for sprinkling
Make the caramel: in a medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup with ¼ 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 salt and sweet.
Make 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.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
Melt 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.
Using a sturdy whisk, add eggs one by one, whisking just until combined. Stir in vanilla.
Gently pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold together just until few streaks of flour are visible; do not overmix.
Pour batter into the pan and let settle. Drizzle caramel sauce over batter until the 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.
Bake 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 flaked salt.
Let cool to room temperature before cutting. After cutting, if desired, drizzle any remaining caramel over the top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Source: The New York Times, 2016