A few of the Care Staff leave the Nursing Home where I work on Saturday, and it seemed only right that I bake something nice to have with our morning cuppa on the day. Truth be told, there’ll be quite a feast on the go. I’ve got savoury and sweet treats ready and prepared and, as always, I seem to have over-catered. Better a feast than a famine.
Originally I was planning to bake a big, impressive looking cake and then I caught on to my stupidity. The transportation alone would be enough to wreck my head. Then, it wouldn’t even be practical for us all to be eating slices of cake; sure the running of the Home won’t just stop, we need to be able to grab a bite and run. Although not literally, I hope.
What could be better than brownie bites? Salted caramel brownie bites to be prescise.
Salted caramel has continued to be extremely trendy. Unlike many food trends, this one is really proving itself over the test of time. And, I love it.
Adding a bit of salt to something outrageously sweet makes it incredibly addictive. Nigella Lawson once claimed her favourite indulgence was a chocolate bar in one hand and a packet of crisps in the other.
In this bake I’ve used salted butter in the brownie and added a little sea salt to the caramel, which is literally just swirled through the brownie mix prior to baking. The brackish hit is subtle but alluring.
And let me tell you, these are gorgeous. Moist, chocolatey goodness with just the right amount of gooeyness-to-cakeyness ratio with a sweet/salty tang. I defy anyone not to go for a second piece. Even those who consider brownies not to be their ‘thing’ will swoon over these.
I adapted a fabulous recipe for the Ultimate Brownies from Marian Keyes latest book Saved by Cake. More on Marian’s book in a forthcoming post as I will be reviewing it.
Marian recommends the centre piece of the brownies be given to someone special (i.e. the cook) as it is the very best bit. Me? I’d rather save one of the chewy corner pieces as the cooks treat. Which bit do you all prefer?
And, on that note I’m off to eat my cooks treat alongside a nice cup of tea.
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 100 ml double cream
- 20 grams unsalted butter
- pinch seasalt
- 225 grams dark chocolate broken into pieces min 70% cocoa solids
- 225 grams salted butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 grams light brown sugar
- 170 grams plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- First make the caramel. Tip the sugar into a big heavy-bottomed pan in an even layer. Place over medium-high heat. Wait until the edges start to liquify then start to move the sugar around onto the wet spots to try and get it to melt evenly. Don't worry if it starts to clump a little, it will melt down later. Keep everything gently moving until you have a liquid. Keep cooking until it reaches a deep bronze, the colour of a penny. Take off the heat and carefully whisk in about 1/4 of the cream. Keep pouring and whisking until all the cream is incorporated. Add the butter in chunks and the salt and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 160c or the equivalent.
- Gently melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water.
- Meanwhile beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and mix together, but don’t over beat.
- Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt, and fold through.
- Pour into a lined square 20cm baking tin and pour over the salted caramel, swirl gently with a knife to mix.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Trust me here, it won't look cooked but it will firm up on cooling.
- Put the tin on a wire rack to cool for at least 3 hours. If you cut it too soon, the brownie will leak all over the place. When the time is up, turn out of the tin and cut into equal-sized squares.