Sunday, May 15, 2011

Browniepalooza Day 5 - Sweet and Salty Brownies

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!


Jessica said...

Best brownies you've had? That's high praise! Now I really need to try them. They look amazing.

Julie said...

I love sweet and salty! Can't wait to try these!! I've enjoyed your brownie recipes.

Comfy Cook said...

You had to have had fun with this. Of all things to make for five days - delicious. I have the Baked cookbook so you know what I am going to do.

Cindy said...

I just took a look at all the brownies you've made. Just shows that we must have more than ONE favorite brownie. They all look delish! I think I need a week or two of brownies.
I just made a killer pan of Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. I actually made them twice--just to be sure.
Have a great day.

Lisa said...

Wow, I'm loving your Browniepalooza! I'm afraid to scroll down after drooling over these and the brown butter -walnut brownies below!

Guess what? I opened a Twitter account :) @parsleynsage I feel so with it

Finally, did I tell you how much I love your new layout? :)

Anonymous said...

I think that if your brownie audience isn't in love with sweet and salty desserts, then tough luck! More for you! :) Sweet and salty is so awesome, and these sound great!

Pamela said...

Sounds like another winner! Thank you so much for sharing all of these fantastic looking recipes with us. Now I really want a brownie!

Mimi said...

Browniepalooza is a great concept. Fabulous collection of recipes.

Tracey said...

I'm finally getting caught up on my Google Reader and I can't wait to go back & see the rest of the brownies from your browniepalooza! I've tried this recipe and enjoyed the brownies too!

Di said...

Would you believe that I've made this recipe three times and still haven't managed to take pictures so I can do a blog post about them? =) These really are good. They aren't my all-time favorite, but are at the top of my list for not-plain brownies.