Brownies are my all-time favourite dessert. When cooked right, they are crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside, as well as being rich and chocolatey. They are also pretty easy to make, so when you want/need to bake but you’re rushed for time, they are the perfect go-to dessert.
These brownies are a step up from the traditional tray bake, they are absolutely heavenly and the salted caramel adds another dimension to the bake. I recently made these for my partner’s work colleagues, to which his manager exclaimed “MARRY HER” after his first bite. I think that sums up the deliciousness of these brownies…
I’ve been making brownies for years now and i’m going to be honest, it took me a while to get them just right. The first tip I would give to anyone seems obvious, but you MUST use the right size tin. Anything smaller will add extra baking time and will make it difficult for them to set, making them too runny, and anything bigger will make it more difficult to keep the brownies gooey in the middle.
Another tip is to always use at least 70% dark chocolate. You may not like to eat dark chocolate from a bar and decide to use milk chocolate, but this makes the brownies very bland as there is little cocoa content. To get rich chocolate brownies it’s very important to have a high cocoa content, I would personally recommend dark chocolate from Green & Blacks.
This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Brownies, from her gorgeous book, How to be a Domestic Goddess. This book is the first of many recipe books I have collected over the years, yet I always go back to her stunning creations. For anyone that is yet to explore their baking abilities, I would recommend this book.
For the brownies
375g unsalted butter
375g dark chocolate 70% minimum cocoa contents
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
Salted caramel sauce (1.5 – 2 servings)
Pan size: 33 x 25 x 5.5cm.
For the salted caramel sauce follow my recipe here. Make between one and a half or two portions so that you have enough to fill the middle of the brownies and pour over the top.
To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 180℃/gas mark 4. Line the brownie pan with baking paper as they get quite gooey and it will stop the mixture sticking.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large pan. This is my favourite part, the aroma of melted chocolate and butter is so tempting, so try and resist from taste testing!
Whilst the chocolate mixture is cooling, beat the eggs together with vanilla and sugar in a large bowl or in a food mixer for about 1 minute. Unlike baking a sponge cake, you don’t need to mix for a long time as you’re not trying to aerate the mixture to rise in the oven.
Pour the chocolate mixture into your egg mixture and beat for another minute, be careful not to get too many air bubbles in the mixture. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix slowly to incorporate the flour.
Scrape half of the mixture into the lined pan. Pour half of the caramel sauce on top of the mixture and smooth out with a 1 inch border around the outside, so the caramel doesn’t seep out. Pour the rest of the brownie mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
The brownies will be ready when the top has a coating which is dried and paler, and the mixture doesn’t wobble too much when you move the tin. Stick a toothpick in the mixture and there should only be a bit of brownie stuck to it when you pull it back out. You’re not looking for a cake texture or for the toothpick to come out completely clean, as you want the brownies to be dense and gooey. If they are not cooked enough, keep cooking in the oven, checking every 3-5 minutes as overcooking them will result in dry, cakey brownies.
When the brownies are cooked and still a bit gooey on the inside, leave to cook in the pan with foil over the top for about an hour.
With the remaining salted caramel sauce, pour over the completely cooled brownies in a zigzag pattern, or whatever pattern takes your fancy! The caramel will be runny so it will pool together, don’t worry too much about making it perfect! Make sure that the brownies aren’t still hot as the caramel sauce will set rather than staying nice and runny, as I discovered the first time I made these.
Cut into 24 squares and carefully transfer the pieces with a spatula onto a plate or into a storage tin.
Ta-da! I hope you enjoy eating these gooey, caramelly, extra chocolatey brownies, they are a hit with my friends and family whenever I whip them up.