Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Messy Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

I'm Liz Lemon-ing my way around the world today. Shuffling from calamity to calamity in baggy pants and stained oversized sweatshirts while mumbling nonsensically to myself. And EVERYTHING is messy. The house, my handbag, my brain. Even my food. Especially my food.  Messy, messy messy. 

Nothing to do but embrace it. Or tidy up.....  

Brownies from Neven Maguire

200g (8oz) butter 
250g (10oz) caster sugar 
25g (1oz) pecan or walnuts nuts, roughly chopped 
275g (10oz) plain chocolate, finely chopped (I like a mix of dark and milk, 200g milk, 75g dark) 
4 eggs 
100g (4oz) self-raising flour 
75g (3oz) cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 170oC. 
2. Line a swiss roll tin 30cm x 23cm/12 inches x 9 inches with deep edges (at least 5cm/2 inches deep). 
3. Melt 100g/4oz of the chocolate gently in the microwave or in a pan with the butter. Make sure to stir regularly. Set aside to cool. Chop the remaining chocolate. 
4. Beat the eggs with an electric beaters until they start to increase in volume. Dump in the sugar and beat until the eggs are a pale shade of yellow, thicker and doubled in volume. 
5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and then fold in gently until almost incorporated.
6. Add the cooled butter and chocolate mixture along with the remaining chopped chocolate and the nuts, if using. 
7. Fold until all combined being careful not to overwork as this will knock all the air out. 
8. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the tin around and bake for a further 10 minutes. The top should have a nice crust and be pillow firm to the touch. By that I mean you don't want it liquidy but you do want a slight wobble in the centre. 

For the salted caramel sauce - From Brown Eyed Baker

See picture tutorial here
200g/8oz caster sugar
90g/4oz butter cubed 
116g/5 fl oz cream at room temperature

1. Put the caster sugar in a dry, non-teflon large pan. The greater the surface area of the pan the easier it is to caramelise. Turn to a medium heat and watch like a hawk. 
2. When the edges begin to darken gently swirl the pan so that the undissolved sugar mixes with the caramel. Once all the sugar has melted do not stir. 
3. Allow to cook over a medium heat until it is an amber brown. If you have a sugar thermometer it should read 350oF. Even if the sugar has crystallised, keep cooking. It will all come good once you keep the heat low! 
4. Once you have reached the right temperature or the right colour take off the heat and add the butter. The caramel will sizzle but continue to stir cautiously. 
5. Finally pour in the cream, stirring continuously. The sauce should become glossy and thick. 

Note: If you feel like your caramel smells suspiciously like burning and you don't have a sugar thermometer fill a sink with cold water and plunge the bottom of the saucepan into the water. This will stop the cooking process. Have a quick taste (let it cool first!) and if you think it needs more cooking put back on the heat.  

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