Fudgy, chewy, dripping, rich. These are hands down the best brownies I have ever made.
I’m not even kidding.
I made a batch of these for Christmas and my mother told me they were the best things I’d ever made her.
That right there, is real love.
Was she pissed? Probably. But was she right? Definitely.
Liam Charles, contestant on The Great British Bake Off and now presenting his own (amazing) show Liam Bakes, said that the skills of any baker could be measured on the quality of their brownie.
I’d be happy to bang these on the table and go to war (not with Liam… but for general judgement)
You will absolutely make these brownies more than once.
Stuffed with pockets of sea salt spiked caramel, these brownies have the dense fudginess that a brownie needs to be top of the pops but still has that signature crackle top. Throw these in the mix at a function or party and I promise you won’t have any leftovers.
Which is both a compliment and a liberty to stash one or two away for yourself if you want to eat one or two to yourself late at night when nobody is watching.
Start by making your salted caramel. I do this backwards, which would cause most cooks to have a heart attack but don’t worry, it’ll be fine,. Throw 60g of caster sugar and 40g of soft brown sugar into a deep pan and turn the heat on to medium-high.
Start stirring – SHOCK HORROR. I know a multitude of recipes will have you leave it to melt and caramelize on its own but I stir and it’s fine. Just go with it. On the medium-high heat, keep stirring the sugars until the melt together. They may crystallize a little and clump together but keep with it, they will melt to a pool of sugary liquid eventually.
I promise you this is the less stressful way of making caramel.
Once the sugars have melted, slowly pour in 50ml of double cream. It will sizzle and froth up (hence the deep pan recommendation) but take off the heat and continue to stir. Drop in 50g of butter and a hefty pinch of sea salt flakes (I go for Halen Mon) and stir together. Put to one side and allow to cool while you crack on with your brownies.
Preheat your oven to 190c and grease/line a 20cm x 20cm square pan.
Take 200g of dark, dark, dark chocolate and roughly chop up with a knife. You want the chocolate in rough slats, not chunks as this will melt throughout the brownie as opposed to little globs here and there. Leave this to one side.
In another deep pan, melt 150g of unsalted butter to a yellow paddling pool. Add in 150g of soft brown sugar and 150g of dark muscovado sugar and stir until they melt into the pool of butter.
Sieve in 60g of coco powder, 150g plain flour and ½ tsp baking powder and stir everything together. You’ll need a Michelle Obama arm for this because it will clump together into one, tough ball of brown dough.
In a jug or mug, beat together 4 eggs and a little drizzle of vanilla extract and pour this into the pan. Take the pan off the heat and stir the eggs into the hard dough, loosening it to a runny, gloopy batter.
Throw your chopped chocolate into this batter, stir and then pour into the lined square tin. I use a rubber spoon here to make sure I get every morsel of this batter out.
Now here’s the fun part.
Take big spoonful’s of your cooled salted caramel sauce and zig zag it through the brownies. Don’t worry about refinement or decorum, I literally just drag it through in swirls. Once you’ve used up all of the salted caramel, slide the pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes,
When you go to pull it out of the oven, don’t fear about it wobbling a little. You want your brownies to be gooey and slightly underdone – that’s it’s beauty. But leave the brownies to rest for an hour or so in order for the caramel to set slightly and for the brownies to rest.
The borders of the brownie may rise slightly more than the middle (this will have a lot to do with the caramel weighing down the centre) but don’t worry. This is the charm.
Once the brownies have cooled, slice them up, serve them out and hold on to your bragging rights.