It’s no coincidence that the posts of two of the best brownies I’ve ever made, this one and this one, have crappy pictures. When these fudgy monsters come out of the oven, the only thing I want to do is dive right in and treat myself on a piece of sticky chocolate gooeyness, but just when I’m about to do that, I have to remind myself that I should take pictures first. The little self-control I have just allows me to take a couple of lucky shots before I take a piece, or two, ok, maybe three. And as you can actually see – busted – I couldn’t even restrain myself from slicing the whole thing up and snatching a couple of pieces before taking the pics.
After having to take two trains, two plains and a cab ride to get from Amsterdam to Beijing while being sick, I arrived in my dorm room completely exhausted and jet lagged, but luckily these fudgy miracle workers helped me feel better. The caramel gave me the energy kick my body needed and the chocolate helped me to get over the pity party I was having. And I’m pretty sure they’ll help you feel better whatever problems you’re having, but let’s be honest, no one needs an excuse to take a little bite of these salted caramel brownies.
I know the brownie in this picture doesn’t even come close to the looks of the beautiful original, but it sure tasted amazing. They already taste wonderful immediately after taking them out of the oven (watch out not to burn your mouth on the dangerously hot caramel), but they taste heavenly the day after.
The combination of sweet and salty is one I absolutely adore. I can’t seem to find the proper words to describe my love for the tartlet with salted caramel and dark chocolate ganache, the salted pecans in butterscotch pecan ice cream or the sugar-salt crust on top of the Bo Ssäm. The taste is just terribly addictive and whenever there is something sweet and salty, I can’t stop myself from eating it (let’s be honest – when can I?).
Salted caramel is one of the easiest things to make (that is: once you’ve discovered that making caramel is in no way terrifying). You’ll only need to heat up some sugar and a tiny bit of water in a pan and wait till it starts to colour. Don’t whisk it, just move the pan a little bit. When it has the right amber colour you’re looking for, you’re finished. Easy peasy. If you want to make it extra delicious – and who doesn’t want to do this? – add cream. And butter. Cream and butter, the answer to everything (plus chocolate, but not in this case). Stir – from this stage you’re allowed to whisk again – till everything is dissolved and you’ll end up with gooey, silky, creamy, incredibly hot caramel. Of course, don’t forget to add a few pinches of salt (to taste). I’ll be making and enjoying salted caramel until I’m too big to move my ass into the kitchen.
This recipe is different from other ice cream recipes I’m used to making. There are no eggs involved and cornstarch is used to thicken up the custard. I like my ice cream made by both methods, don’t really have a preference. I thought the ice cream would be less silky or decadent without the egg yolks, but I didn’t really notice any big differences – maybe that’s because it was so good that my mind couldn’t think anything else than Oh my, give me more! while eating.