My partner, Jono, and I both celebrate our birthdays in January, two days apart. Jono is a sucker for brownie, and I love anything salted caramel-related, so this is a match made in heaven for us. The caramel sauce recipe makes more than you need, so keep it in the fridge and have it on top of creamy vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert. Or just eat it out of the jar with a spoon (I may or may not admit to doing this . . . ).
Makes: 16 pieces
Takes: 20 minutes to prep; 25 minutes to bake
140g butter, at room temperature
70g unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup plain flour
extra flaky sea salt for sprinkling
1 cup sugar
90g butter, cubed
1⁄2 cup cream
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Method: To make the caramel sauce, heat the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. The sugar will melt into a thick amber-coloured liquid as you stir. Use the spatula to keep splashes of sugar from burning up the sides of the pan. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, add the butter and keep stirring until the butter is completely melted. Slowly drizzle in the cream. Be careful as the mixture will rapidly bubble and rise in the pan. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool before using. Store the cooled caramel in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the brownie, preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium-sized bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. The bowl should sit above the water, so the steam from the water melts the butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, mixing vigorously before adding the next. Your mixture should look shiny, thick and smooth. At this point add the our and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the our is well incorporated. Pour into the lined tin, spreading the batter out evenly. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the brownie is still slightly sticky with batter but the top is set.
When the brownie is cooled completely, use a fork to prick the brownie all over. Drizzle salted caramel over the top, letting it sink into the fork holes. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt. Cut the brownie into even-sized squares and serve at room temperature.