Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet and Salty Brownies

These might just be the best brownies I have ever eaten.  They are intensely chocolatey, super gooey, and have glorious salty caramel baked into the center.  If you like sweet and salty you must make these.  Seriously.  They were very good a little warm from the oven (you're supposed to wait until they're completely cool before serving, but come on), they were delightful the next day when they became even more chewy, and they were simply heavenly cooled in the fridge a few days later, rich and fudgy.

These made a rather huge batch of brownies, a 9 X 13 pan is needed.  I thought I would send these to my husband's work or share with the neighbors but I can't stop eating these and I want them all to myself (ok, I did end up sharing a few).  These probably have about 1000 calories per bite, but when something tastes this good who cares.

I used David Lebovitz's caramel sauce (slightly adapted with more salt) since I had some in the fridge, but otherwise made the recipe as is.  I know I sound like a broken record, but make sure you use good quality dark chocolate, it makes all the difference!

Sweet & Salty Brownie
from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented

Rich Caramel Sauce
slightly adapted from David Lebovitz 

1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel

In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to caramelize, then turns dark amber in colour and begins to foam a bit (it should smell and look like it's just on the verge of burning).  Remove from heat and slowly and carefully add in the cream (the mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking constantly until all of the cream is added.
Return the pan to med-low heat and stir until the sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.(this took about 5 minutes for me).  Then stir in vanilla and salt. 
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then taste, and add more salt, if desired.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 and 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp coarse sugar

For the brownie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9 x 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 bowl of the double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, 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. The mixture should be at room temperature at this point.
Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat 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 a just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
To assemble the 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 an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel and 1 teaspoon coarse sugar.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 4 days.

Linked to:
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday  
Melt in Your Mouth Monday


  1. Salty and sweet is the perfect combination in my head! I love the sounds of these cookies and they look so gooey! My lunch is just not looking as tasty as those brownies....

  2. Oh my these look sooo good! I too loved these brownies, those Baked boys are demi-gods in my eyes. x

  3. ooh! I love this idea! I'm actually starting to drool a little bit!!

  4. I've never actually had brownies with salt (although, I have heard of it), and these with the caramel in the middle look divine.

  5. wow those brownies look amazing! Love the caramel pouring out :)

    I'm a new follower. I love your blog and the recipes you've posted. Have a great week!


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