This month’s Sourdough Surprises challenge was to make brownies! We were given a recipe to follow – the two modifications I made were to sub milk chocolate for the dark because M prefers it and raw (golden) sugar for the white sugar because I prefer it. But I also happened to have a batch of salted caramel that had originally been planned for another project that never eventuated… you can see where I’m going with this, right? After the store-bought toffee chips worked so well in the sweet potato blondies, I figured homemade caramel would work even better. After all, caramel and chocolate belong together.
The caramel actually mostly melted into the brownie as it baked, so there aren’t many “bits” but it’s a total flavour bomb! And this is so not a brownie that you will pick up with your fingers to eat daintily. This is a fudgy, gooey mess of chocolate and caramel that you will scoop up with a fork and it will make you swoon and sigh and smile.
140g granulated raw (golden) sugar
65g whole cream, hot
100g butter, cold, diced
generous pinch sea salt flakes
Put a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and lightly grease it with butter.
Spread the sugar evenly across the bottom of a small, heavy-based saucepan. Heat over a medium-low flame without stirring until the sugar starts to melt and becomes liquid around the edges. Once about a quarter of it has melted, gently stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it starts to smoke, a few minutes depending on how high the heat is. Be careful not to burn it, using your nose as a guide. Using raw sugar for making caramel is a bit more haphazard than using white sugar where you go by colour, but just past smoking point is the aim.
Remove from the heat and slowly add the butter and salt, stirring well with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Return to the heat and carefully and slowly pour the hot cream into the caramel, stirring continuously until it is smooth.
Pour onto parchment to cool and set. Transfer to the freezer to harden to make cutting easier.
300g good quality milk chocolate, chopped
225g unsalted butter, diced
200g granulated raw (golden) sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 whole eggs, room temperature
40g cocoa powder
220g mature 100% hydration sourdough starter
Note: I took 100g mature starter, brought it to room temperature for an hour, fed it with 60g each of flour and water and let it ferment for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 165°C. Line a metal 22 x 28cm baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the long edges, and grease the paper with butter.
In a bowl placed over a saucepan with a couple of centimetres of water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
Whisk in the sugar, salt and vanilla.
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine well after each addition.
Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate and stir to combine.
Add the starter and stir gently until it is completely incorporated.
Run a sharp knife under hot water and cut the caramel into pieces about 2cm square.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spread the pieces of caramel evenly over the surface, then pour over the other half of the batter.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out cleanish.
Cool in the pan 20 minutes, lift out using the parchment paper and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.