Over the past few months I have kept running into different versions of the salted caramel brownie and salted caramel ice cream on the internet. Since I like a rich brownie and the thought of having a caramel flavored with sea salt to compliment the sweetness of the brownie sounded delicious and balanced, I decided to give one recipe a try which I found in a round about way. This recipe was found from a fun blog, A Spoonful of Sugar, who had made the wonderful recipe find from the Poires au Chocolat blog that had adapted Paul A. Young’s recipe from Adventures with Chocolate. Paul A. Young is a London based artisan chocolatier. And since I will be heading to London tomorrow and if the schedule permits, I might just be lucky enough to stop at one of his shops. I thought this recipe fit perfectly for the occasion!
Last night we had our literature club meeting and I took these along. We had all read Yösyöttö by Eve Hietamies. It tells about a single dad with a newborn baby and how he survives in a Mom’s world. While some of the topics in the book are not necessarily easy or light, it is written in a very humoristic way and I caught myself laughing outloud on several occasions while reading it. It has a bit of ironic commentary on the Finnish health care system and society. We had a very lively discussion and a lot of laughs.
Everyone enjoyed the brownies, but I must say that they were even better the next day. The flavor of the sea salted caramel came through even more nicely. We were thinking that a light sprinkle of finger salt could be a nice finishing touch. The original recipe called for cocoa nibs, but since I did not find them readily I left the little detail out.
For the caramel:
75g white caster sugar
50ml double cream
10g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp fleur de sel/good sea salt
I doubled the caramel recipe above in order to have some on hand to garnish the brownies.
Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot. Allow the sugar to start melting on medium, stirring gently and being careful that the sugar does not burn.
Allow to gently cook until the sugar has melted and attained a golden bronze color. Do not allow it to become too dark. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the cream. This stage is critical. If the cream is not added immediately the sugar continues to cook even if removed from heat.
After the cream is stirred in add the butter and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
For the brownie:
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
75g golden syrup
275g quality 70% dark chocolate
70g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and line a 20cm by 20cm (depth: minimum of 2.5 cm)pan with baking paper. My pan was a bit larger and so my brownies came out a bit thinner than according to the original recipe.
Place the sugars, syrup and butter into a large saucepan. Allow to melt and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and add in the dark chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is incorporated. Whisk the eggs in a small separate bowl and add into the brownie mixture. Last but not least, add in the flour and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the lined pan. Using a spoon, drop dollops of caramel onto the brownie batter and using a knife make a marble-like design. The caramel will have thickened by this time. Bake for about 20 minutes.
These brownies freeze very well and could be easily made ahead of time before a holiday get-together.