Monday, February 20, 2012

Caramel Brownies

About a year ago I went in search of my favorite brownie recipe.  I baked and compared three very delicious brownies, but chose just one, the Baked brownie, as my favorite.  You may have heard of the Baked brownie before.  It's praises have been sung far and wide.  In my opinion it is a very praise worthy brownie recipe.  It produces a dense, moist and fudgy brownie with no frills.  That's the way I like my brownies...most of the time.

The Caramel Brownie
Occasionally I like a kicked up brownie.   Last week I wanted to make an over the top brownie to take to a friend's house for dinner.  I decided to use the Baked brownie as the base and add a layer of caramel, then top it all with a layer of chocolate ganache.  Does that sound kicked up enough for you?  The resulting brownie is delicious...decadently delicious.  Oh, yeah, baby!  I am not kidding.  This is one heck of a brownie.

There are three steps to this brownie, so you'll need to plan accordingly.  Start by making the Baked brownie.  While the brownies are cooling you can make the caramel layer.  Have no fear, it's easy to make the caramel.  You'll need a candy thermometer though, to make sure you get the right consistency to the caramel.  It is soft and creamy, not thick  and chewy.  It's a perfect consistency for the topping the brownie.  Once the caramel is spread over the brownies it needs to cool for 15 minutes before adding the chocolate ganache.  Then the brownies must cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  I'd say you'll need about three hours from start to serve.

Step 1
The Baked brownie
The Caramel Ingredients
Step 2
The Caramel Layer
  • 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 3
The Chocolate Ganache
The Ganache Ingredients
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Directions
Bake the brownie layer per the recipe.  Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper leaving enough of an edge exposed to lift the brownies from the pan in one large piece.  Use large office clips to clip the paper to the edge of the pan and hold it in place while the brownies are baking.  Bake until the brownies are moist, yet set.  A toothpick inserted in the center will have a few crumbs on it when removed.  Cool before adding the caramel layer.

Bake the Brownie Layer

To make the caramel layer, place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium heat.  Stir well to combine.  As the mixture heats, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. 

Make the Caramel Layer

Continue cooking, stirring with a whisk constantly until the temperature of the mixture hits 225 degrees.  Pour the caramel over the brownies, smoothing with a spatula.  Set the pan aside to cool until the caramel layer sets, about 15 minutes.

Pour the Caramel over the Brownie Layer

To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips and the cream in a bowl.  Heat them together in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Stir and repeat until the chips are fully melted and the mixture is thick and creamy.  Pour the ganache over the caramel layer. 

Spread the Ganache over the Caramel

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan.  Place the cake of brownies on a cutting board and slice into individual servings. 

The Caramel Brownie
You can get the printable Caramel Brownies recipe by clicking the link.

Enjoy!
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