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