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Salted-Caramel-Stuffed Brownies

by , featured in Baked To Perfection
Published by Bloomsbury
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Introduction

If there is such a thing as a food crush, this is mine. These caramel brownies are simply amazing on every single level. First, there’s the combination of textures: fudgy, slightly chewy brownies with gooey caramel oozing from the centre. Then, there’s the melding of flavours: the slight bitterness of the chocolate with the sweet–salty caramel deliciousness. Every bite feels like a sensory explosion, and the recipe honestly isn’t much more complicated than a standard brownie recipe. But the result? Life changing. (And, trust me, I don’t make such a claim lightly.)

PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 15 mins
BAKE TIME: 30 mins

Image of Katarina Cermelj's Salted-Caramel-Stuffed Brownies
Photo by Katarina Cermelj

Ingredients

Serves: 9-12

BROWNIES

  • 240 grams dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 120 grams unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 210 grams soft light brown sugar
  • 75 grams gluten-free flour blend
  • 30 grams Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt

CARAMEL LAYER

  • 180 grams double cream
  • 30 grams unsalted butter
  • 80 grams golden syrup
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)

Method

Salted-Caramel-Stuffed Brownies is a guest recipe by Katarina Cermelj so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

BROWNIES

  1. Line a 20cm square baking tin with a piece of baking paper cut large enough to overhang the sides of the tin (to help you remove the baked brownies).
  2. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and butter together. Set aside to cool until warm.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, whisk the eggs and sugar on medium–high speed for 5–7 minutes until pale, fluffy and about tripled in volume. The mixture should briefly pile on top of itself as it falls off the whisk.
  4. Fold in the melted chocolate.
  5. Sift in the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, cocoa powder and salt, and use a spatula to gently fold in until no flour clumps remain.
  6. Pour half the brownie batter (about 400g) into the lined baking tin, smooth it out and refrigerate until needed. ➀ Set aside the other half at room temperature.

CARAMEL LAYER + ASSEMBLING THE BROWNIES

  1. Adjust the oven shelf to the middle position and preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the double cream and 15g of the butter to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed, making sure the mixture stays warm.
  3. In a clean saucepan, combine the golden syrup and sugar, and cook over a medium–high heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches 145°C. Remove from the heat, add the cream mixture and mix until combined, then heat again, stirring continuously, to 112–116°C. ➁ Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the salt and the remaining butter.
  4. Stirring occasionally, cool the caramel to 80°C – at this temperature, it’s unlikely to melt the bottom brownie layer while still being pourable and spreadable. Pour this over the chilled brownie layer in the baking tin and spread it out, leaving about a 1cm border around the edges (to prevent the caramel from leaking out too much during baking).
  5. Spoon the other half of the brownie batter over the caramel and gently spread it out to completely cover the caramel layer.
  6. Bake for about 30–35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out covered in half-baked batter or with a few moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool the brownies completely to room temperature before taking hold of the baking paper and removing them from the tin. Use a sharp knife to slice into portions. (Cooling first allows the crumb to set to give you neat slices with clean edges. Although these brownies, served warm from the oven, will have caramel invitingly oozing out of them, without cooling they are a nightmare to cut.)
  8. If you want to serve the brownies warm (for example, with a scoop of ice cream), reheat them in the microwave for about 5–10 seconds to make the caramel soft again.

STORAGE:
3–4 days in a closed container at room temperature.

Additional Information

Notes:

➀ Chilling the bottom brownie layer makes it sturdier and less likely to melt or displace as you pour the caramel on top. The other half of the brownie batter should remain runny enough at room temperature so that you can easily spread it on top of the caramel layer.

➁ Between 112 and 116°C, the caramel is in the so-called ‘softball’ stage. This is the optimal temperature range to give a caramel layer that, despite being heat-treated again during baking, is luxuriously soft even once the finished brownies have cooled completely. To test for the softball stage, drop a small amount of the caramel into a glass of cold water and then scoop it out – it should hold its shape but be very soft when squeezed. (You don’t need to do this if you’re using a sugar or digital thermometer.)

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