Did you make a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, or lose weight? Oh. Sorry. ::evil grin::
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, recently released a new cookbook called Foolproof, filled with recipes tested many times, with detailed instructions so that anyone, from novice baker to seasoned chef, can make the recipe successfully.
That is, as long as you actually read the ingredient list and ensure you have all of said ingredients on hand. Not like, um, well, someone. Someone whose name might be Coleen. (FYI: If you happen to realize that, no, you actually don’t have 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in your baking cabinet, you can melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir it into 9 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, then combine it with the melted butter and semisweet chocolate chips. You’re welcome.)
The recipe calls for “good” caramel sauce, not dulce de leche or “caramel sundae topping.” She suggests a brand called Fran’s, which from what I can tell, is not sold in stores. Because I didn’t have time to order it, I decided to make my own. It’s not difficult in terms of technique, and it doesn’t take long to make, but you do need to keep a close eye on it, and use good judgment. I’ve included a caramel sauce recipe below the brownie recipe if you decide to go this route.
Even with the substitutions that, er, someone had to make, these brownies came out perfectly. The instant coffee in the brownie batter enhances the chocolate flavor; and the salt enhances the sweetness of the caramel. These gooey brownies are very rich, so cut them small!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 14 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 1 ½ tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 to 6 oz good caramel sauce
- 2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour about an inch of water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and place a mixing bowl over (but not touching) the simmering water. Place the butter, 8 ounces of the semisweet chocolate chips and chopped unsweetened chocolate in the bowl, and melt, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee granules, sugar and vanilla. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Stir with a spoon, then sift over the egg/chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, toss the remaining 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour with the remaining 6 ounces of the semisweet chocolate chips. Stir into the brownie batter. Scrape the batter into the baking pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, heat the caramel sauce in a microwave-safe container just until warm enough to pour. Drizzle over the top of the brownies, then sprinkle with the sea salt flakes. Let cool to room temperature, then cut into 1.5x1.5-inch squares.
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoon butter, cut into chunks
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Place the sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Set the heat to medium. Once the sugar starts to melt, start to whisk slowly. Once the sugar has completely melted, stop whisking.
- Once the sugar turns a light amber color, add the butter. The mixture will bubble furiously. Stir the butter into the sugar mixture to combine.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream. Again, the mixture will bubble furiously. Once it calms down again, stir to combine. Pour into a heatproof bowl and cool to room temperature. Store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.