Delicious Chocolate Banana Brownies with Caramel Sauce

Well, still in Peru, and Victoria and I decided to make brownies. While we were baking, I got the amazing idea to add bananas and top with caramel sauce. It was delicious, best decision ever. Well, except for the sauce… we to make a caramel sauce, but as you’ll see in the pictures, it didn’t quite work out. I think I over cooked it; it became all grainy and hard. The recipe (found here http://thelevelheadedchef.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/caramel-sauce-without-heavy-cream/) said to just boil sugar with milk and butter, but I think next time I’d rather do the kind of sauce where you cook the sugar separately to make the caramel first, and then add the cream and butter.  But anywho. Super delicious and fudgey brownies.

This recipe adapted from http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/08/05/chewy-fudgy-triple-chocolate-brownies/

banana brownies (31)First off, melt the chocolate in a double boiler with some butter. We took a large pot, simmered some water, and then set a smaller pot inside. You can also just melt it on low heat on the stove, or even the microwave if you microwave on low and stir often.

banana brownies (22)Banana time! Mask the banana up well. We had fairly yellow bananas, so it’s not too mushy. You can totally use old bananas, like you would for banana bread.

banana brownies (30)Then mix the banana with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

banana brownies (1)Add the chocolate and stir until incorporated. Then stir in the flour until well combined. Pour it into a pan and bake for 35-40 min at 350 F.

banana brownies (11)Mmmm yummy brownies! They look tasty! But wait, there’s more!

Below is my failed attempt at caramel sauce. Take this as an example of what not to do.

banana brownies (3)For this recipe, you put 1/4 c milk, 4 T butter, and 1/2 cup sugar in a pot. Then boil it vigorously for 3-4 minutes.

banana brownies (9)Look it’s boiling!

banana brownies (14)This is where it started to get weird. I thought it didn’t look dark enough, so I kept boiling it. Then it got kind of watery, and too thick.

banana brownies (15)Aaaaand when it cooled this happened. Caramel chunks. Not burned, but definitely now what was supposed to happen.

banana brownies (20)We still decided to try to use the caramel sauce anyway, so we heated it back up and added some milk. It just got hard again on top of the brownie, but didn’t taste entirely bad. maybe could have made caramel chips to put inside the brownie? Not sure. Below is a different caramel recipe that I would recommend using; I’ve used it before for a Banana Cream Pie and it worked splendidly. Or you can try this recipe that I botched. Maybe you will fare better.

Ingredients:

  • 11 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour

Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan and set aside.

Using a double boiler, or a smaller pan set in a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, mashed bananas, and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and spread evenly with a spatula. bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick in the centre comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs on it (everyone loves  gooey brownie!). Should be about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for a bit.

Sauce:

While the brownies are cooking, time to prepare the caramel sauce! First stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring, and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush until sugar is deep amber in colour, 6-8 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, whisk in heavy cream, butter, and salt (it’ll bubble, that’s normal). Let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in vanilla. Let it cool. This can be made a bit ahead of time and reheated to put on the brownies.

Voila! Hopefully your caramel sauce turns out better than mine! You’ll never make brownies without bananas again.

Other variations to try:

Peanut butter swirl brownies: After the batter is all prepared and ready to go in the pan, take some peanut butter and place a few globs on top of the batter. Then take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter through the brownies.

Chunky brownies: Add a cup of your favourite candy chips, whether butterscotch, chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, whatever. Be creative. You can throw some nuts in too if you desire.

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