Decadently rich dark chocolate, smooth creamy caramel, flecked with sea salt and sugar crystals. These brownies are pure heaven. Initially reading through this recipe I was a little intimidated in that I had never made caramel before but I assure you it is quite easy. Just make sure to keep an eye on it as it can quickly turn from a beautiful amber to a burnt disaster! Though the recipe may seem long and complicated these brownies actually come together quickly and the results are sooo worth it.
SWEET & SALTY BROWNIE- adapted from Baked Explorations
FOR THE FILLING
1 cup cugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 cup sour cream
FOR THE BROWNIE
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE ASSEMBLY
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon coarse sugar
MAKE THE CARAMEL
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant- read thermometer reads at 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color (keep a close eye on the caramel at all times, it goes from golden brown to black and burnt very quickly), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream (careful, it will bubble up) and then the fleur de sel. Whisk in the soup cream. Set aside to cool.
MAKE THE BROWNIE
Preheat ocen to 350 degrees F.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light- colored metal 9-by-13-inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment, 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 if 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 form the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and still until combined. D0 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 just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
ASSEMBLE THE SWEET & SALTY BROWNIE
Pour half the brownie mixutre 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 brownies batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownies batter gently across 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 down 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 the fleur de sel and coarse sugar.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting.
The brownies can be stored, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.