Sorry to say, we've reached the last day of Browniepalooza, delayed a bit due to the Blogger outage, but I'm not sad. Nope, not sad at all because I have one of these
Yes, it's the sweet and salty brownie that won my personal tasting. I bought the Baked Explorations cookbook so I could have this recipe, and you should too. In fact, I'm not going to give you the recipe so you'll go out and buy this cookbook. Unless that's not in your budget. In that case, you can find the recipe here.
For all of us who love the sweet and salty flavor profile, these are a revelation. There is a layer of salty caramel, but it mostly melts into the brownie, making it moist, fudgy, sweet, caramelly. Then there is the coarse sugar and fleur de sel sprinkled on the top right after they come out of the oven.
A few observations:
- If your brownie audience isn't in love with sweet and salty desserts, reduce the salt on top to just a light sprinkling, or none at all. The saltiness of the caramel won't be enough to make them wrinkle their noses.
- The recipe counsels not spreading the caramel all the way to the side for fear it will burn. Au contraire. The caramel along the edge of the pan gets a little crispy/chewy and my tasters LOVED that part. Just make sure you line your pan with parchment (and I love that with parchment, there's no need to butter and flour the pan).
- You can make the caramel several days in advance. Keep it in the fridge and let it sit out for an hour or so before using it.
- I use my favorite Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips to make these. No chopping chocolate and I don't think a premium imported chocolate would add anything.
- After making these several times, I think it's best to sprinkle on the coarse sugar right when they come out of the oven but the fleur de sel after slicing. The knife cuts can cause the salt to bunch up along the edges and that can be a little too much salt for some of us.
I know I can be prone to hyperbole, but these really are the best brownies I've had. Please try them, and give some of the others a chance, too. They are:
Browniepalooza was so much fun (really!) that I think I'll do it next year. Maybe you'll join me. I already have my eye on a couple of recipes that I missed on this go round, plus someone is always coming up with a new spin on our old favorite. So many brownies, so worthy, that one week hardly seems enough!