Friday, May 20, 2011
Sweet and Salty Brownies
Let's talk about something real today.
Current events? Politics? Religion?
Here's something. Yesterday I ordered my groceries on-line. It felt heretical. It felt momentous. It felt like something that should be on the evening news.
Yet, for some odd reason, Katie Couric did not appear at my apartment to interview me. Which is why I'm sharing with you now. The world needs to know.
It was an action born of necessity. The necessity to learn how to be a doctor before Monday. That, apparently, trumps meandering around Whole Foods with a sparkle in my eye and the wind in my hair. Not my rules, but I still have to live by them.
You want to hear something else?
The world is ending on Saturday.
And, I'll be honest with you. I'm pretty pissed about it.
I should be in Paris eating croissants. Or Italy, making out with a hot skeevy beautiful Italian man. Or at Ben and Jerry's headquarters consuming Vermonsters like my life depends on it.
Instead, I'll be surrounding by index cards. What a way to go.
That's why I need to share this recipe with you today. Get it off my chest and into your stomach.
Cause you're going to be really sad if the world does in fact end and you haven't ever eaten these.
After I made my crystallized ginger dark chocolate brownies, I was pretty sure that I had reached the pinnacle of brownie baking. I was wrong.
These sweet and salty brownies from Baked Explorations have (a) more chocolate in them and (b) a middle layer of salty caramel that seeps into the batter so that while you can't necessarily taste it outright, you are most certainly swept away by how amazingly rich and seductive it makes them. This is the last brownie recipe you'll ever need.
Which, um. Is a good thing. You know. Given the circumstances of Saturday.
I highly advise that you make them. Tonight. Right now. Time is of the essence.
Sweet and Salty Brownies
Makes 12 large brownies or 24 small brownies, adapted from Baked Explorations
For the Caramel Filling
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fleur de sel (I used sea salt)
1/4 cup greek yogurt
For the Brownie
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped (I used Callebaut, which is sold at Whole Foods)
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. 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 an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color (beware it will go from golden brown to burnt very quickly!), 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (be careful, it will bubble up!) and then the fleur de sel. Whisk in the greek yogurt. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9x13 inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
5. Place the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water (basically, a double boiler) and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Let sit until it's at room temperature.
6. 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 OVERBEAT, as this will make the brownies cakey.
7. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is only a trace amount of flour visible.
8. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 cup of the caramel (no more, otherwise it will pour out over the edges and burn. You will have extra. Eat it with a spoon. I dare you.) 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 (see, told ya so). 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.
9. 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 in the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
10. Remove the brownies from the oven. Cool completely before cutting and serving.