Tobins' Tastes: Baked NYC's Sweet & Salty Brownies

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baked NYC's Sweet & Salty Brownies


Do you ever see something on TV and tell yourself "I am totally going to make that tomorrow" only to go online look up how much work is involved in making said item and then completely blow off the project? That is what happened with me and these brownies. 

I love Food Network. Borderline obsessed. I often talk about the people on Food Network to my husband as if they are real people we know personally and interact with on a daily basis. I actually have a season recording set up on my tivo for multiple Food Network shows. It's embarassing. 

One of my favorite shows (and by one of, I mean one of my top 20 favorite shows on Food Network), is The Best Thing I Ever Ate. We have actually planned vacation schedules around eating at the places on this show. Again, embarrassing.

This Sweet & Salty Brownie from Baked Bakery in NYC was featured on one of the episodes. A dark chocolate brownie with fleur de sel caramel sauce baked right into? Yes, please. And since caramel and chocolate could be one of my favorite combinations of all time, I knew I had to make it. I was totally pumped to get baking that very night until I found the recipe online and it had about one million steps to it. 

Needless to say, my bubble was burst and there was no way I was making that brownie anytime soon. Fast forward a year. I got ambitious. I was going to do it. I started step one and began making the homemade caramel and due to some inattention on my part, I burned to caramel to the point of no return. I was so discouraged that I never made it to step two. 

Fast forward another year and a half to tonight. Armed with a candy thermometer, the perfect sauce pan and no distractions, I was ready to tackle that caramel. 

Yes, it is a complicated recipe. Yes, there are a lot of steps involved. No, I would not try to multitask while you do this. But despite what these photos may indicate, these brownies are totally worth it. (Why is it that the most ooey, gooey, delicious things never photograph the way you want them to?)

They are they perfect combination of dark chocolate and sweet, salty caramel. The bitterness of the dark chocolate is exactly what this treat needs to keep it from being overly sweet and the random flakes of sea salt and sugar sprinkled on top are an amazing contrast to the whole thing. 

This recipe is taken from and adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.

Baked NYC's Sweet & Salty Brownie

1 c. sugar
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)
1/4 c. sour cream

1 and 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 TBSP dark cocoa powder (I used Hersey's Special Dark)
11 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli's 60% Cocoa Chocolate Chips)
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut up and at room temperature
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla

1 and 1/2 tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)
1 tsp coarse sugar ( I used demera sugar)

Make the Caramel:
1.) In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 c. water, stirring together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan.  Cook over high heat, until a thermometer reads 350 degrees and is dark amber in color.

2.) Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will bubble up).  Then add the fleur de sel.  Whisk in the sour cream.  Set aside to cool. I put it in a separate bowl so it wouldn't burn if left in the pot. 

Make the Brownie:
3.) Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water.  

4.) Whisk in both sugars until completely combined.  Removed bowl from pan

5.) Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.  Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined.  Add the vanilla and stir until incorporated.  Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies may be dry or too dense.

6.)Add the flour mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just barely combined. 

7.) Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.  

 8.) Drizzle and 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce (not all of it) over the batter, trying to stay away from the edges. Gently spread the caramel sauce evenly.  I used an off set spatula.

 9.) In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the remaining batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently over the caramel. I drizzled the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the batter before baking or you can save it to serve with them later.

10.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Sprinkle the mixture of sea salt and sugar on top for the perfect crunch. (It really does make a difference I swear.) Allow to cool before serving.


Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***
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