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Since one fortunate September day back in 2013 after tasting an incredible chocolate brownie by Paul A. Young, I've been hooked on making gooey, dense, rich, and utterly indulgent chocolate brownies.
I came across a brownie recipe derived from Paul A. Young's Bing Cherry and Coconut Chocolate Brownie recipe in his Adventures with Chocolate cookery book°. While I can no longer trace where I found the amended recipe, these tried-and-tested instructions consistently produce flawless gooey dark chocolate brownies every time. I've adapted the recipe to make coffee and walnut dark chocolate brownies before, as well as plain dark chocolate brownies.
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Home baking ingredients supplier LemonVanilla sent me a pouch of Callebaut 67.4% Madagascan Single-Origin Dark Chocolate chips and I instantly knew exactly what I was going to bake with them - a fruit-filled, festive-spiced dark chocolate brownie, topped with gooey salted caramel.
Having made brownies many times before, I've streamlined steps (as I'm lazy). The results are still the same though. Less work and less washing up is always a good thing, right?
Be patient and allow these brownies to cool for around half an hour after baking, and then enjoy them at their very best. They'll be warm, gooey, and they taste incredibly rich and decadent.
In this particular recipe, the dark chocolate adds a rich cocoa depth to the flavour, while the sugars in the brownie help to eliminate any bitter notes. The raisins and cranberries add a nice chew although the mixed spices were lost in the flavour while warm. The pliable salted caramel is completely unnecessary here but it adds even more outrageousness to this bake.
The brownies are best stored in the fridge after a day or two. Stored this way, the brownie firms up and becomes fudge-like in texture. Interestingly, when served cold, the mixed spice comes through more prominently, and really ties the flavours of chocolate, raisins and cranberries together. The salted caramel firms up and becomes chewy, enhancing that property in the overall flavour.
Outrageously decadent, I promise you you'll not look back after trying this brownie recipe. It's versatile too. Trade out the fruit, spices and salted caramel for pretty much any combination you like. Try adding chilli powder. Macadamia nuts taste so good in here, as do chunks of Brazil nut. Dried banana chips should add an interesting flavour dynamic too.
Spiced Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie Recipe
I wish I could find the source of this derived recipe, but alas I cannot. The original recipe that my source recipe was based on came straight out of Paul A. Young's Adventures with Chocolate book°. I've got a copy of this and it's a great reference point for indulgent recipes with chocolate.
This recipe makes 12 decent-sized brownie pieces, although if you insist on stingy portions, you'll be able to cut it up into 16 or even 20 small pieces.
Spiced Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie Recipe
A dark chocolate brownie filled with raisins, cranberries and festive spices, with a salted caramel topping
Makes approximately 12
Salted Caramel Ingredients
- 50ml double cream
- 75g caster sugar
- 10g unsalted butter
- a pinch of sea salt
- 275g Callebaut 67.4% Madagascan Dark Chocolate Buttons
- 100g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g light brown sugar
- 75g golden syrup
- 70g plain flour
- 60g dried mixed raisins and cranberries
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1tsp mixed spice
Spiced Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie Method
Step 1 / Preheat Oven
Set the oven to 160° C. While you're here, line a tall 20cm x 20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Step 2 / Make The Caramel
Pop the caster sugar into a pan and place on a medium heat. Darken it to a rich bronze colour. Then, take off the heat and stir in the butter and double cream. It'll froth up a little and then settle back down. Set aside and allow to cool.
Step 3 / Make The Brownie
Meanwhile, in a new pan, tip in the butter, caster sugar, light brown sugar, and syrup for the brownie. Heat until everything emulsifies into a uniform consistency. Take off the heat and tip in the chocolate buttons. Stir vigorously until they all melt. Add the eggs, flour and spice and stir until everything is the same chocolatey brown colour.
Step 4 / Bake
Pour the brownie mix into the lined tin. Gently shake to ensure a level brownie. Pour the salted caramel you made earlier over the top, swirling in random patterns. Pop the tin into the oven for exactly 20 minutes.
Step 5 / Cool
After 20 minutes, take the brownie out if you like it gooey. Chance it for another 10-20 minutes if you prefer a firmer brownie (but keep an eye on it in case it starts to burn). Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before you slice up and serve. Enjoy!
You'll find a 300g pouch of Callebaut Madagascar Single-Origin dark chocolate chips over at LemonVanilla (£7.50). You'll also find other ingredients there that you might want to try in this chocolate brownie recipe.
If, like me, you begin baking these fairly often, you might want to consider getting a 2.5kg bag of dark chocolate couverture. You'll find plenty of choice over at Keylink, which is where I bought my last bag of CasaLuker 70% Palenque dark chocolate, which boasts a rich, fruity flavour.
If you try this recipe at home, please let me know how you get on in the comments below.