This is a treat among all treats. Even when you are down and out from sickness, like I am right now, these Sweet and Salty Brownies hit the spot. They have just the right amount of sea salt on top to counter the amazing sweetness of the brownie inside! It is definitely one of those comfort foods that make you feel better when you are at your worst. There is a caramel layer in the middle that is subtle enough to not overpower the rest of the taste. It was the first time that I made caramel and it was kind of fun. The corn syrup bubbles like none other and the only hard part is taking the caramel off the heat before it burns in a matter of second’s right before your eyes. Luckily, my first effort paid off even though I was pretty sure that I botched it. In which case I probably would have had a temper tantrum and thrown the hot caramel out the door (only because I am sick of course)! These brownies are best enjoyed the day after they are baked, but you can eat them whenever you feel like it.
Adapted from Baked:Explorations
Makes 24 medium-sized beauties!
1 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Light corn syrup
½ cup Heavy cream
1 tsp Ground sea salt
¼ cup Sour Cream
1 ¼ cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
11 ounces Dark chocolate
1 cup Butter, unsalted
1 ½ cups Sugar
½ cup Firmly packed light brown sugar
5 Large eggs
2 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Coarse sugar
Make the Caramel
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until and instant read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color (keep a close eye on the caramel at all times, as it goes from golden brown to black and burnt very quickly), 6 to 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream (careful, it will bubble up) and then the sea salt or fleur de sel.
- Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
Make the Brownie
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light coloured metal 9 by 13 inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Place the chocolate and butter in the microwave and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined.
- Add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
Assemble the Sweet & Salty Brownie
- Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag pattern, taking care to make sure the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use your offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt, or fleur de sel, and coarse sugar.
- Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
- Enjoy plain or with some quality vanilla ice cream!