In our seemingly endless effort to ferret out the best brownies on the planet, for you, our devoted readers, we come to you today with yet another contender for the title. Many of you will recall our first foray into "Baked NYC" territory with this post about them back in January. In it, we put the original "Baked" brownie to the test, and found we really loved it's deep dark flavor, and almost fudge like consistency.
Well, the guys at Baked Bakery in Brooklyn are back with not only a new cookbook called Baked Explorations , but also a new take on their now famous brownie. To put it simply, the Sweet and Salty Brownie is their original on steroids, and while we may hold steroids and all those stupid athletes that use them in low regard, in this instance, they are a VERY GOOD THING!
These brownies hang onto all that was good about the original, the insane chocolate flavor, and the cakey at the edge, but dense-as-night in the middle consistency that we all loved. To this, the Baked guys amp the original by getting all salty with it (I can hear my friend Jess at SodiumGirl cry as I write this, I am so sorry). By introducing a layer of salted caramel into the center of these babies, and sprinkling the top with a coarse sugar-fleur de sel mix, these brownies go from being simply ridiculous to sublime.
I have written out the recipe below just as it is in the cookbook, but when Arthas, Boris and I made these the other day we encountered one tiny glitch that requires attention. You see, when we poured the awesomely good caramel to cover the lower layer of brownie mix it was still fairly liquid (though it had cooled). As such, when we spooned the balance of the brownie batter on top of the caramel, some of it got squeezed out to the edge of the pan and ended up bubbling up the side of the brownies during cooking. Good news is that the exposed caramel didn't burn, but it did detract a bit from the surface of the pan of brownies as it had a few pools of caramel on it. The next time we make these, I think I'll set the pan in the fridge for a few minutes after pouring on the caramel, this in order to let it set fully before covering with the rest of the batter.
Make these, and everyone you give one to will love you, like a LOT!
Baked NYC's Sweet and Salty Brownie
For the caramel filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel
- 1/4 cup sour cream
For the brownie:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the caramel filling, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan, stirring carefully so as not to splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350℉ or until the mixture is dark amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly add the cream, and then the Fleur de Sel. Whisk in the sour cream and set aside to cool.
- For the brownie, preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9 x 13 inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature at this point.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is a just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
- To assemble the brownie, pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag pattern, taking care to make sure the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use your offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons Fleur de Sel and 1 teaspoon coarse sugar.