Well winter is here everyone. At least in Alberta, that’s for sure. And I am loving every bit of it! Well maybe not the shovelling part or the scraping snow off of my car part, but mostly every bit of it. Did I mention that I got winter tires for the first time this year? I wasn’t really into giving up like a thousand bucks for them, but let me tell you, I’m a convert. Winter tires = amazing = crazy Nascar driving skills in the snow. Best investment ever.
Know what winter also means? Warm fireplaces and hot chocolate and if you are feeling extra decadent, some comforting brownies. Get your chocolate intake in ever possible way; drink it, eat it, you name it. If I was in a coma, I would hope that someone pumped some melted Lindt through my IV. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea but in theory… Anyways the point is, if you are kind of depressed with the weather (or if anything else is getting you down), brownies are a pretty fool-proof way of rectifying that. At least for the time being. And who knows? With Calgary’s strange weather patterns, the snow could be melted by tomorrow. Although I highly doubt it.
Salted Caramel Brownies
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter
170 g dark chocolate (70% or higher)
1/2 cup pastry flour
1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen – optional (could substitute for other berries or any nuts of your choice)
For the caramel:
1/2 cup white sugar
2-3 tbsp water
3 tbsp whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 8″ square pan with parchment and set it aside. To make the brownie batter, first melt together the butter and chocolate. This can either be done over a double boiler or in the microwave. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugars and vanilla. After the chocolate and butter has cooled slightly, add this to the eggs. Whisk to combine then add the last ingredient, the flour. Once everything is incorporated this can be poured into the prepared pan.
As for the caramel, heat the water and sugar on high. Don’t stir it, just gently swirl the pan occasionally until it turns a dark amber color. It tastes best if you try to cook it was far as you can without burning it. Which admittedly is a pretty fine line. Once the color is to your liking, remove it from the heat, adding the cream and salt. Careful as it will bubble quite vigorously at first. Stir to combine before pouring the caramel on top of the awaiting brownie batter. If you are using the raspberries or another garnish of your choice, arrange these on top before putting it in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on how gooey you like your brownies. Keep in mind that if you opt to refrigerate them, they will firm up quite a bit because of the high amount of butter and chocolate. Cool, slice and enjoy. And they are rich, don’t say I didn’t warn you!