I have one general rule about baking: never bake with hate in your heart. This holds true. I have however questioned myself many times when trying to bake whilst exhausted and pain wracked. Sometimes I should just take a step back and wait.
I tried to bake Florentines recently. The recipe appealed to me because it contained, amongst other ingredients, pistachio nuts and dried cranberries. I liked that it wasn’t just raisins and cherries. This would do me, and, fruits and nuts, some of your five a day…….well, in a manner of speaking!! Unfortunately, the Florentines spread out more than expected whilst baking and ended up looking like burned fruit and nut encrusted brandy snaps. There was nothing I could do to save them. I don’t know if it was me, or the recipe. I’ll take the blame, well, part of it, but I’m not going to attempt the recipe again.
What to bake then? I go back time and again to the same tried and tested recipes, the flavours I love, but that won’t do any good for a blog post, will it?! Then I saw this recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies from Something Sweet Something Savoury’s fabulous blog.
Salted caramel, did you say? How could I say no!! This was a risk, as I usually buy my salted caramel brownies from Macarons & More in Norwich – their version is utterly divine!
But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I decided to bake these myself.
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
225g salted caramel sauce or carnation caramel
½ -1 teaspoons sea salt
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs
100g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° fan). Grease and line a 22cm square baking tin.
Melt the butter and chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pot of hot water. As soon as the butter is melted remove the bowl and stir to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla extract, stir well.
Measure out 200g of the caramel into a small bowl and add the sea salt. Stir well to loosen the caramel.
In a large bowl beat together the sugar, eggs and 25g caramel until well blended. Stir in the melted butter and chocolate mixture.
Tip in the flour and cocoa powder, stirring until everything is combined.
Pour half the brownie mixture into the baking tin. Spoon half of the 200g salted caramel over the top. Pour over the rest of the brownie mixture. Drizzle the remaining half of the salted caramel over the top of the brownie mixture, and swirl with the tip of a knife to create a marbled pattern.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until set on the top, but it should still have a slight wobble in the centre. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.
Feel smug with your creation.
I lost concentration halfway through and added all the caramel to the middle of the brownie batter, with nothing left to swirl on the top. I sprayed to top of my brownie batch with edible gold lustre. Really, this is the way to tackle life – when things don’t go entirely to plan, spray them gold! They do, however taste absolutely lovely, and I will definitely make these regularly. A big thumbs up from my tasting panel too!
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 😊