Saturday, May 22, 2010

Take A Bite Of: JennyMac's Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Oh, I am in Sea Salt Caramel Brownie LOVE! I found a great recipe a month ago but the brownies were too dense with a flour aftertaste. We like our brownies moist, gooey, and fudgy. Can there be a problem? Yes, moist and gooey lack the density needed to hold the caramel in the middle. Even if you parbake (partially bake half of the batter.) SO: I perfected the absolutely best fudgy brownie recipe exactly how I wanted them. AND, after trying dozens of caramel recipes (who knew there are more caramel recipes than children in the world) I opted to layer the caramel on top of the brownie and cover with a super thick genache.

I have spent a month perfecting this recipe. You know who loved my commitment to the kitchen like a mad scientist? Every single one of my taste-testers. (With 8 various recipes, there are a lot of volunteer taste-testers.) You know who hated it? My ass. But, I was required to taste as I go was I not? And eating homemade sea salt caramel by the spoonful sometimes? Mmm hmmmm, gimme.

The lengths I would go to for you, my chocolate connoisseurs. I blame my obsession on perfecting this recipe upon all of you. But, every minute was SO worth it.

Don't believe me? This picture might be worth more than a thousand words.


Here we go: A recipe of love. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

JennyMac's Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 pan. I recommend lining with parchment paper and spraying again.

Brownie Ingredients and Directions:

Mix: 2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 t. vanilla
1 c sugar

In separate bowl mix: 1/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder

Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the sides begin to pull away from the pan.  Let them cool completely. (That means all the way, don't stick your fork in there. They taste much better cooled than hot enough to burn your mouth off.)

NOW: If you want to quit there, GO AHEAD. This brownie recipe is incredibly easy and is SO MUCH BETTER than a box. Why? Because most brownie recipes use butter. Oil is the key to a rich moist brownie (to me.)

BUT: If you have never made caramel let me tell you one word: SIMPLE. 

Sea Salt Caramel Ingredients and Directions:
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. butter
1/4 c cream
1/4 t to 1/2 t of sea salt ( I used Pink Himalayan and sea salt of all kind is not to difficult to find.)
(Have ALL of your ingredients out. Caramel is simple but you need to stay by its side. Do not abandon it to fetch things from the fridge.)

Pour 1/2 c. sugar in a small pan on stove. Cook over medium heat until sugar begins to melt. As it begins melting and turning brown in color begin to whisk and whisk continuously until ALL sugar is melted. You can easily swirl the sugar in the pan as well to keep it moving and melting.

Once it is completely melted, add butter and whisk until butter is completely melted. Take off the heat and after about 20 seconds, slowly add the cream. The mixture will bubble and erupt. Keep whisking until the mixture is completely smooth.  If it begins seizing up, put it back on the hot burner to let the caramel melt a bit and keep whisking. Once it is smooth, pull it off the stove and let it cool. Start with 1/4 t. of sea salt and add more to your own taste.

It will smell delicious and look so warm and yum that you will be tempted to stick your finger in there to sample. DO NOT DO THIS. Hot caramel is similar to lava. Your mouth wants to be treated better than that. Just be patient.

Once the caramel is cooled, spread it over your brownie mixture. I spread it almost to the edges.

FINALLY:

Chocolate Genache Ingredients and Directions:

Chocolate genache can be prepared in several ways. The trick is, the thicker you want it, use more chocolate than cream. For this, I used about 1/4 cup cream to 6 oz of finely chopped chocolate. You can certainly modify amounts. The standard ratio is 1 c cream to 12 ounces of chocolate. Experiment. You can ALWAYS add more chocolate.

Place the cream in a small pan and heat to almost the boil. Pour over your chopped chocolate and stir stir stir stir it smooth.  I also add a teaspoon of vanilla at this point.

Spread over caramel layer and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. You can easily cut and serve after they are set. Take a bite. You can send me a love note via email.

43 comments:

Julia said...

those loook amaaaazing! and it just so happens that i offered to bake something for a party tonight. i might have to make these! yum!

Brian Miller said...

yum...cant wait t appreciate your dilligence and determination when we make it...

SmartBear said...

Ah hell...now I need those for breakfast. Seriously though? You are a baking diva! Those look incredible! I am printing off the recipe and will try it soon.
Best,
Tina

Jean said...

These look amazing and I may need to attempt to make them soon!

Luna said...

those look good. i could use one now.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

My husband just asked if you would marry him? nice.

I LOVE chocolate. However I am not gluten free living which is another way of saying, I live in hell. poor man has been suffering because i do not bake as often now.

But he is reading over my shoulder so now I must make this or he's heading a bit further south to find you. I think the smell of the chocolate and carmel wafting may be his GPS

Caty said...

i busted out laughing when you said your ass hated your brownies! mmm...those look yummy. Thanks for the recipes. I'm going to have to try those out on my taste testers!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Ya know what will really initiate 1000 words coming out of my mouth? How I will respond when I go to my mailbox and receive a box of them from you! :-)

I'm not a baker, but do love stuff like the caramel brownie with sea salt. Yes, I know I can read and shop at the grocery store and even turn on my oven, but they won't be as tasty as ones that appear in my mailbox.

So, thank you in advance and I believe my comment has made a nice dent in the 1000 words you mentioned I will be saying.

koopermom said...

Oh my... why does everyone post yummy treats when I'm "dieting"?? I'll be back for the recipe after the wedding I'm in in 2 weeks.

Teddy Started It said...

OK! It's Saturday and I've got nothing planned for this rainy day. Or should I say, I HAD nothing planned. Now I'm going to make these...NOW...for breakfast! Yum!!

Tracy said...

OMG. Thank you for your sacrifice!

Allyson & Jere said...

Not gonna lie, I have been waiting for you to post this naughty recipe. You say sea salt, I get excited. I dont' know why, I'm just wierd like that. Anyway, thanks for posting it, I'm fairly sure I gained a pound or two just reading the recipe. But don't think for one second I won't be trying it out some time. YUMMMM!

Tree said...

I have bookmarked this recipe!! Thank you!! These are right up our alley...looks delicious!

Candice said...

Oh Jenny, those look heavenly!!!!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

My diet starts next Monday. Brownies this weekend for sure. Yummy!

Kristina P. said...

I can taste these from here. I know that sea salt and caramel is a big combination right now. Target was selling some ice cream with that combo, and it was divine!

MommaAmma said...

I have waited and waited and I'm not going to lie, cursed you at times because all I've been thinking about this month is when WHEN will JennyMac post this recipe.Oh to be one of your taste testers...

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Oh my gosh! I'm in love. This hits both of my greatest loves...caramel and chocolate. Remind me to pass on one of the greatest caramel apple recipes ever...one that is for homemade caramel. It never fails that people want to eat a bowl of caramel and forgo the apple!

A million thanks!!

Herding Cats said...

Those look well worth the effort! Divine, you could say?

Myya said...

Those look & sound like pure pieces of heaven. I am SO gonna try this one!!!

Yummy Mummy said...

I just drooled on my computer! Those look amazingly delicious. I'm definitely making them!

Ruby’s Upcycle Designs™ said...

Oh, Dear Lord, I'm suppose to be watching what I eat...but these sound so awesome...I'm gonna have to make them...saying a little prayer I don't eat them all! ;)
Thanks for sharing!!!
xoxo Beth

Ellen said...

Amaaaazing! I've been trying to think of something impressive to bake for a cookout my bf's friends are having in a couple weeks and I think this just might be it! I just hope I don't screw it up!

www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

ModernMom said...

Do you think if I printed this off for my Hubby he would throw on an apron and become my dream baker man? Look fabulous!

Elle said...

OMG!!! I've been waiting so patiently for this recipe, and these look absolutely incredible! This being the day before my birthday, I can't help but to feel this recipe was meant as a gift especially for me! ;-) Thank you sooooooo much!

Intense Guy said...

This makes me sit and cry.

...durn diabetes...

So yummy and tempting looking!

Michael Rivers said...

I would love these!! I'll have to try them.

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm DROOLING. Damn you, Jenny Mac. Now I'm craving brownies and I've got nothing but fruit popsicles. SO not fair.

Just telling it like it is said...

mmmmmm looks so good but bad for my butt

ajm said...

Alright, Jenny Mac, I do not cook or bake much, but your use of words like "simple" and "easy" combined with that heavenly picture convinced me to give this recipe a try. And you know what? It was pretty easy! The hardest part was waiting for the caramel to cool. And the brownies are ridiculously DELICIOUS.

But. My thighs are really mad at you right now.

Just Breathe said...

Are you kidding me, these look wonderful and very rich. Thank you so much. I must try them!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Those look and sound deliciously decadent! I'm SO going to try making them - I have a couple of taste-testers that would love to try them! ;)

Jennifer said...

You had me at caramel. Seriously? Love caramel, but then I saw the picture, and now I HAVE to make these. Can't wait. Think they are going to be a present for my best friend's birthday next month. Thanks JennyMac!!!

Tiffany said...

Those look amazing...hubby's bday is this weekend and he loves brownies!!

MommaKiss said...

I think I've said this before, but - MEAN. this is plain mean. esp to my dieting self.

Joann Mannix said...

Here's you love note. INCREDIBLE! Thank you sweet girl. As soon as I saw your recipe, I dashed to the store because the combination of salty and sweet is my Nirvana. They are fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

Sarahviz said...

I'm totally gonna try to make these this weekend.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

You had me at "and cover in a super thick ganache." Perhaps the most delicious words in the language.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I think I just might have to move in with you.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Oh. My. God. Those look and sound incredible. I love dark chocolate with sea salt and homemade caramel with the salt sounds fantastic as well. And you had me at ganache.

Vivienne said...

Oh yum. Am going to try this right away.

Last month's (?) Better Homes & Garden mag had a recipe for Chocolate & Peanut Butter Marbled cake with a sea salt caramel glaze. It was pretty yummy.

Vivienne said...

Please consider this your love note.
I made them for Father's Day. I was the hero. (well, you were... damnit.)

Dave and Whitney said...

Objection! Himalayan pink is a rock salt, not a sea salt. But still chock full of yummy minerals, so the point is no doubt moot. These brownies have been added to the queue... Thanks for posting!