Despite basically being a bitter old hag, I think it’s important to remember that life is great, and there’s often joy in the most unexpected of places.
The most recent unexpected place for me was on a roof top in London Fields last Thursday. I was celebrating one of my clients’ 10th Birthday. As a surprise, the directors had given everyone the following day off. The office was closed, people could party with wild abandon without having to go into the office on Friday morning. It was such a brilliant gift to their hard-working employees.
But I didn’t party. Not because I didn’t want to, but I had something other than a hangover planned for my Friday. I was going to a very close friend’s baby shower on the Saturday and I decided I was going to make my super duper Salted Caramel Brownies to take as an offering.
So I spent Friday making brownies. The kitchen was a bombsite, the air in the flat hung heavily with the scent of chocolate and baking, and I think I got mild heart palpitations from all the sugar I ingested after licking the bowl (baker’s privilege, right?!).
When I posted the photo of said brownies on Instagram, I was hit with lots of people asking for the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy!
Salted Caramel Brownies
Makes 20 very indulgent little squares
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
200g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate – I used good old Lindt 70% cocoa solids
100g milk chocolate – any will do
397g can of Carnation caramel
1 tsp flaked sea salt
200g golden caster sugar
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1. Grease and line with baking parchment a baking tin. I used one like this. Whack the oven on to 180ºC to let it pre-heat.
2. Put the butter in a pan, and put on a gentle heat and allow to melt completely. Keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it to burn.
3. At the same time, in a small bowl, measure out 175g of the caramel. It’s about four generous tablespoons I reckon. Then sprinkle in the salt and mix it together.
4. Check on your butter. Once it’s all melted, take the pan off the heat and add in all the chocolate and give it a stir. The butter will melt the chocolate. Put it to one side for a sec.
5. Put the rest of the caramel, the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl. Get your electric hand whisk or sizeable muscles out and beat until it’s nice and smooth and all combined. Now add the butter and chocolate to this mixture and beat once more. Start dreaming of eating raw chocolate brownie mixture.
5. Sift in the flour and the cocoa powder. Use a spatular to combine the ingredients together. Don’t beat the crap out of it – be gentle and patient.
6. Pour what looks like half the brownie mixture into the baking tin. Use a spatula to push it up to the edges and corners so the whole bottom of the tin is covered. Then get that bowl of salted caramel out, and use a teaspoon to drizzle rivers of caramel down lengthways on top of the brownie mixture. Use about two thirds of the caramel in this stage. It doesn’t need to be precise, but you’re aiming for stripes through the brownie of the caramel, so when you cut into later on each brownie has a layer of caramel in it. Look, it’s easy. Just drizzle it on.
7. Pour the rest of the brownie mix on top, and make sure all the caramel is covered. Try to be gentle, as you want to leave the caramel underneath as undisturbed as possible.
8. Do the same thing with the caramel again. Drizzle it on. Then get a skewer or knife, and drag it width ways through the top layer of caramel so it sort of marbles. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.
9. Whang it in the oven on the middle shelf, and bake for 35 mins. When it’s ready it’ll be a tiny bit wobbly in the middle, but baked well at the edges.
10. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely before you turn out of the tin, cut into squares, eat and become a diabetic.
Adapted from BBC Good Food.