Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

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I love to cook, but baking has never been my forte. I can bake cheese enough to make it melt =) but that’s as far as my baking abilities go. My friend Lizzie though, is an amazing baker. She gave me a link for a brownie recipe that I could not resist. Just looking at the pictures made me drool. So I thought I’d give it a try and see how it goes. 2 hours later, a sink filled with dishes, walls covered in melted chocolate and a puppy and floor splattered with corn syrup, I had successfully made what I will humbly call The World’s Best Fudgiest Chocolaty Brownies. Below are a few pictures of the trials and tribulations I went through.

Since the recipe was for Sea Salt Caramel Fudge Brownies, I had to make the Salt Caramel… with amongst other things, sea salt and light corn syrup, two ingredients I had never used before. I figured the corn syrup would be easy enough to find, but could not figure out what the difference between regular salt and sea salt was. Well if there is anyone out there like me who does not know, here’s the difference:

Sea salt comes from evaporated sea water. It’s larger and coarser than regular salt. The mineral content of sea salt is not limited to the sodium and chloride that make up the traditional salt molecule. Regular salt refers to sodium chloride, the familiar white granular seasoning.

There…now that that’s explained here’s the recipe to make the yummy caramel:

Sea Salt Caramel Ingredients 

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

Sea Salt Caramel Instructions 

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the salt.  Simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved. set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup carefully. They will not combine well until the sugar begins to melt. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes.  Without a thermometer, just pull the sugar off the heat when it is a medium goldish brown – it will continue to cook in the heat of the pan. Better to pull it too early than too late. ( I should have paid more attention to this part, pictures on this disaster can be found below) Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Add the cream mixture and the vanilla to the sugar mixture.  Whisk in the sour cream.  Let the caramel cool to room temp, then follow the brownie instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate any leftover caramel. it makes a great ice cream topping or tastes great straight out of the jar.

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If your caramel starts looking like this, you have burned it =( A lesson I learned the hard way. Even though it sort of looks like a goldish brown at this point, once you remove it and let it cool, it becomes brown-brown and tastes um… disgusting is the word that comes to mind. So I had to redo the entire thing.

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I poured both caramel mixtures in a little container. The one on the right is obviously the burned patch, and the left is the yummy one I managed not to destroy.

Brownie Ingredients 

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup Chocolate Syrup
half of the above caramel recipe

Brownie Instructions 

Preheat oven to 325F. Melt Chocolate and butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

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In a bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until well combined.

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Add flour, salt, chocolate syrup and chocolate mixture and blend well.

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I wanted to eat that entire chocolate batter, it was so delicious.

In a greased 8×8 pan, pour a little over half of the brownie batter and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and it should look like this…

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This is right around the time, I finally began to feel little sprinkles of hope… nothing had burned yet…except for that caramel. Speaking of, this is the part where the caramel comes in. Pour half of your caramel mixture on top of the baked brownies.

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You can spread it out with a spoon. It’s a little difficult to spread it evenly otherwise.

Now add the rest of your brownie batter on top of the caramel.

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Return to oven and bake for another 18-22 minutes.  Brownies will still look a little shaky, because of the caramel, but they will firm up once cooled, usually in about 25-30 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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