One of the best smells to come out of my kitchen this week, was whilst I was baking were these chocolate brownies. Delicious wafts of melted chocolate permeating through the house suddenly brought everyone out of their rooms drooling in anticipation from the intoxicating aroma drifting out of the oven.
I have to admit I have made many batches of brownies over the years, but none have quite delivered quite such a perfect combination of ; deliciously rich, chocolatey gooey centre, topped with a thin crunchy crust, coated in salted caramel. The only complaint I had was there wasn’t enough!
The trick in making a perfect brownie once you’ve got you’re favourite chocolate/nut caramel combo, take care with the baking. You need to cook them just long enough so that the cake mix is just set (it should look dry on top), but not too much that it dries out the centre. When you stick a skewer into it, a little of the chocolate mixture should stick to it. Always remember that the brownie will still carry on cooking a little after it has come out of the oven. I always bake the brownie on the centre rack in the oven, and check it about 5 minutes before it should be ready.
For those that don’t like nuts or have a nut allergy you can omit them or substitute the nuts with white chocolate buttons for a double chocolatey hit.
Really gooey chocolate brownie recipe with salted caramel and hazelnuts
Difficulty: moderate Makes: 8-10
250g plain flour
1tsp vanilla extract
100g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
40 g butter
1tbsp water mixed with 1tbsp whipping cream
To make the sauce place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Now for the brownies…
Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3. Line a 20x28cm baking tin with baking parchment.
Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water and leave to melt. Toast the nuts in the oven for 3-4 minutes until they just begin to colour. (Take care as they can easily burn).
Lightly beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract till pale and fluffy. Add this to the melted chocolate and sieve in the flour. Mix well and stir in the nuts.
Place the brownie mixture in baking tray and pour over the salted caramel.
Using a fork gently swirl the caramel over the top of the brownie mixture then place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Do the skewer test after 20 minutes to see if they are ready. (They may need a few minutes more). Remove from the oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
They will keep well for 4-5 days in an air tight container.