Valentine’s Day Fleur-de-sel Caramel Brownies

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Sorry if this is a day late for Valentine’s but hey, if you aren’t celebrating it until today/tomorrow, or if you just simply want a pretty looking caramel brownie for yourself, well these will do the trick! (If you haven’t seen my other Valentine’s treats check out my Valentine’s Day Cupcakes and Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies)!

These are so good. Like. So good. The caramel on the top is so tasty, you could honestly eat it by the spoonful when making it. And the brownie batter is so delicious, it’s probably my favourite brownie recipe yet.

These are pretty rich, so as much as you’d love to eat brownie after brownie, you’d definitely need to take a break in-between and drink some milk!

I got these from The Newlywed Chefs, and they have the yummiest recipes, I’m so happy I came across their blog. I’m definitely going to try out more of their recipes.

I found the caramel was really difficult to make (probably because I have only made caramel a couple times in my baking life!), because instead of browning the butter like you normally would, you browned the sugar instead. This process was really tricky because you didn’t want to A. burn the sugar but also B. turn it into sugar candy/rocks/whatever! (Which I did the first time). I was whisking, whisking, whisking and all of a sudden after 14 minutes it turned into hard sugar! After doing it the second time I realized what you need to do to make sure it works:

  • Don’t whisk/stir – instead, shake the pot (by using the handle) so you are swirling the sugar/water mixture. Occasionally scrape the sides of the pot with a pastry brush to avoid any of the sugar hardening on the sides (if this happens, don’t worry because mine did too. All this means is that you are loosing some of the mixture for when you make the caramel… but don’t worry it’s not a problem)
  • Don’t walk away from the stove!
  • And lastly, just keep your eye on the mixture. I find when you’re browning anything, you’re constantly looking at it and it’s hard to tell if it’s even turning colour because your eyes are glued to the mixture. Keep moving your eyes around so you aren’t constantly staring at it so you can properly tell if it’s turning colour (or even get a friend/family member to help!)

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Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Fleur de Sel Caramel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup water
  • 1/2  cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel to sprinkle

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place parchment paper in a 13×9 baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat, begin to melt the two sticks of butter. Once butter is melted, remove from the stovetop and mix in the chocolate chips and baking chocolate. Stir until it’s melted. Cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together. Whisk in the entire chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  4. Using a separate small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this mix to the other chocolatey bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon. Once mixture is thoroughly combined, pour into the baking pan, and evenly spread with the spoon.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Cool completely. They will look wrinkly, and that’s okay.
  6. In a separate tall saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place over medium-high heat. Boil sugar, occasionally swirling the pot and scraping down sides with a wet pastry brush. Do not stir though, as sugar boils and reaches a dark amber colour, about 12 minutes.
  7. Don’t walk away from this. The next part needs to happen quickly. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in cream, butter, and salt until smooth. Pour over cooled brownies and sprinkle with additional fleur de sel. Allow brownies to set for an hour, or as long as you can wait.
  8. Once cool, transfer brownies to a cutting board and peel back the parchment. Cut into shapes and serve.

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Adapted from The Newlywed Chefs

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