With all the recipes that I’ve come across, I still continue to go back to the same classic caramel recipe that was one of my earliest culinary experiments. It has just the right amount of creamy ooze, and perfect balance. A classic caramel I’d use regular butter and rely upon the salts already in it to balance out the sweet sugar, but if making salted caramel I would use unsalted butter and add Maldon salt flakes afterwards so that I have more control over the flavours.
I’ve use this caramel sauce in my Salted Caramel & Chocolate Tarts, the filling for my Chai & Salted Caramel Macarons, an oozy surprise centre for my Vanilla Bean and Salted Caramel Cupcakes and it’s also just so darn good simply heated up and drizzled over over a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream for a little naughty treat in the late evenings.
I had an uncontrollable sugar craving all of last week and was dying for chocolate, caramel, or a combination of both. I devised this recipe in desperation of fulfilling said craving and it sure hit the spot all right 😉 It’s very sweet, fudgy and satisfying.
For the caramel sauce, you will need:
- 1/2 cup caster sugar;
- 1/3 cup thickened cream;
- 40g butter, chopped.
For the brownie itself, you will need:
- 220g dark chocolate, chopped;
- 150g butter, chopped;
- 1 + 1/2C (315g) caster sugar;
- 4 eggs, lightly whisked;
- 1 + 1/4C (190g) plain flour;
- 1/2C (125g) sour cream;
- 100g pecans.
Make the caramel sauce first by placing the caster sugar in a small frying pan over high heat. Cook for five to eight minutes, without stirring, until it turns into liquid and it becomes golden. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream (be wary of spitting). Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped butter. Leave to one side to cool.
For the brownie, preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius and line a brownie/slice tin or a square cake pan with baking paper. Place the chocolate and the butter in a double saucepan over low heat, and cook, stirring, until it’s deliciously molten and fills the kitchen with the heady aroma of melted chocolate.
Remove from heat and set aside to allow it to cool slightly. Maybe about five minutes or so. Add the sugar and eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine, before adding the flour, sour cream and pecans. Stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Flatten the top surface with the back of a spoon or with a butter knife.
Taking your cooled caramel, spoon dollops of the caramel onto the surface of the batter and using a skewer or toothpick, swirl the caramel around in the most artistic way you’re able.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for an hour to an hour and a half. If the top browns too quickly, cover it with foil. Nothing’s more of a shame than burnt brownie. All of that chocolate!
Allow to fully cool in the pan before lifting it out and trim about a centimetre off around the edges as depending on your oven the sides can dry out quite quickly when baking. It also just looks cleaner when you cut it. Using a long knife dipped into hot water and then dried, slice the brownie into even squares; washing the knife in the hot water between each slice.
And to think some Sydney cafes will make you pay up to $5 for a plain brownie! For shame.