You know when you try to be a top mum, making salted caramel brownies for the school bake sale and you find out it’s not actually on until the next f*cking week? Sometimes I wonder why I bother. There I was, surreptitiously backing out of the playground, pretending the re-purposed mushroom carton wrapped in too much cling film was something I always carry on the school run… That’s not even the worst part. Not expecting our wares to come home and therefore re-directed into my sensitive gut, I didn’t use gluten-free ingredients meaning I couldn’t even try the damn things. Still, negatives into positives: it wasn’t a completely wasteful endeavour. So what if I whipped them up in a rush yesterday afternoon freestyling the recipe three-quarters of the way through? Turns out it’s perfectly fine to put the eggs in the caramel mix rather than the chocolate (sort of) as long as you don’t mind a marbled effect over a layered look. Besides, I have approximately 5,397,6278 salted caramel recipes archived in the deep, dark vaults of Pinterest and you know how many I’d attempted before today? None. Zero. Nada. That’s progress right there. And they look all right, don’t they? I’m claiming the victory. And the friends we’ve got coming over tomorrow need not know I haven’t gone to very special effort on their account.
Here’s the recipe I lifted from BBC Good Food.
200g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
100g chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
397g can Carnation caramel
1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
200g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs (room temperature)
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line a 23cm square traybake tin with baking parchment. Melt butter in a medium pan, break in all the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for it all to melt.
2. In small bowl, mix 175g of the caramel with 1 tsp sea salt [says it will loosen up, mine didn’t].
3. Put the rest of the caramel [This is where I got muddled] in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even.. Whisk in the [melted] chocolate and butter. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate [caramel] mix. Beat briefly until smooth.
4. Pour half this batter into the tin and level it with a spatula. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, [tricky] trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.
5. Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top [mine were in closer to 50 but that might be due to the misplaced eggs]. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin. Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.