Granted, this is not an original idea in any way at all. Salted caramel brownies have become so popular that you’d be hard-pressed to find a bakery that doesn’t sell them. Salted caramel, unlike scores of other food trends (I’ve still not really got a handle on that whole cronut/cruffin/duffin situation, to be honest), has proven itself to have some serious staying power – probably because it’s stupidly tasty. Put it with chocolate, and you’re pretty much guaranteed a moment of happiness.
So I’m not really bringing anything new to the party with this recipe. And yet, brownies are the thing I bake the most regularly, and salted caramel is now the most requested flavour. I did a quick reckoning, and realised that I only have three brownie recipes on this blog which, considering I have been doing this for nearly two years, is actually pretty restrained. If you are thinking that this is not at all restrained, then probably you have not met me.
Anyway, it’s my little corner of the internet, and thus I have decided I am completely within my rights to swerve ‘pioneering’ and ‘original’, and land with a flump on ‘probably passé as food trends go but delicious enough to justify its own existence’. So here is my version of salted caramel brownies.
Notes: I have rattled on about why I think brownies are magical enough on this website and I don’t think I should really revisit the thesis. They’re still magical, though.
Obviously, feel free to skip or substitute where the white chocolate is concerned, but I really love it here. There’s something glorious about the light, sweet white chocolate against the bold density of the dark chocolate brownie and the salty complexity of the caramel.
The salted caramel recipe here will make about double the amount you will need for the brownies. I like to have spare on hand if I am going to the trouble of making it because I will always use it in something, but if you don’t want any extra then halve the quantities.
200g good quality 70% dark chocolate
2 large eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g golden caster sugar
100g good quality white chocolate
100g plain flour
1 tsp salt
for the salted caramel
200g granulated sugar
90g salted butter, cut into cubes
120ml double cream
2 tsp sea salt
- First, make the salted caramel, so that it has time to cool and thicken a little before use. Heat the sugar in a pan with a fairly large surface area (I use a frying pan) over a medium heat. Resist the temptation to stir it – you can shake the pan a bit. Keep an eye on it. Nothing will happen for ages, then the base of the sugar will start to melt. Gently swirl the pan around, moving the sugar about, until it’s all melted into a lovely golden coppery liquid.
- Now whisk the butter into the sugar, a few cubes at a time, until it’s all incorporated and completely melted. Don’t worry if the mixture looks split at this stage. Now drizzle in your cream while continuing to stir the caramel – be careful, as the mixture will bubble and hiss. Boil the mixture for one minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Taste (carefully) and adjust as needed, then let cool.
- Now, for the brownies. Break your chocolate into pieces and chop your butter into rough cubes and place them both in a glass or metal bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave them to melt, stirring occasionally. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20x20cm square tin.
- While your chocolate and butter melt, mix your eggs with your extra yolk and your vanilla, and weigh out your sugar. Chop or break your white chocolate into chunks. When your chocolate and butter have completely melted, beat in your sugar (I use an electric hand whisk), followed by your eggs. Add your flour and salt to the mixture and beat that in too. Stir through your white chocolate chunks.
- Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, and then dollop your cooled salted caramel on top of the batter and swirl it around with a knife or skewer. Bake for around 25 mins – the salted caramel will sit in a liquidy way on top of the batter and make you think the brownies are not done, but they will firm as they cool.
- Normally I advocate eating brownies warm from the pan, and while you absolutely can do that here, they will be very gooey. If I need to slice these neatly or take them anywhere I normally let them chill and firm in the fridge for a couple of hours first. Finish with a sprinkling of sea salt, if you like.