Chocolate, salt, and caramel represent three of our favorite food groups. Brownies are the quintessential American dessert, but our addition of salted caramel sauce comes from a taste sensation we learned while driving around the Western wine regions of France. Each time we stopped for gas, we would run into the truck stop market to buy delicious chewy caramels made with the local sea salt, Fleur de Sel, from the Ile de Re. These Salted Chocolate Caramel Brownies are a combination of the best gooey sweet desserts from two of our favorite countries.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Brownies
For the brownies:
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Tip: Save the butter wrappers to grease an 9 by 12 inch baking metal baking pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a large pot with an even bigger metal mixing bowl on top to make a double boiler. Fill the pot halfway with water and begin boiling. Don’t let the bottom of the mixing bowl come in direct contact with the water. Completely melt the chocolate and butter in the metal mixing bowl and then add in the sugar, constantly whisking. Remove from heat and let rest. Whisk the eggs using a clean whisk and bowl, then combine them with the chocolate mixture by tempering. Little by little, add small amounts of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs until completely mixed. Whisking constantly. Slowly add the flour and salt and stir until everything is well mixed. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. While the brownies are baking, make the salted caramel sauce.
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ¾ stick butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel
Use a thick bottomed 3-quart sauce pan. Heat the sugar over medium to high heat while whisking constantly. When the sugar begins bubbling, stop stirring and wait until the sugar begins to caramelize to an amber color. Add the butter and begin whisking again. After all of the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat, and add the heavy cream a little at a time. It is important to continue whisking at this stage. Don’t worry, it’s normal for the cream to foam up—just keep mixing. When all of the cream is added and the foaming stops, add the fine sea salt and stir well. Let the salted caramel sauce rest until the brownies come out of the oven.
Wine Pairing: Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port
The still-vibrant fruit flavors of Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port will hold up to the richness of chocolate, while complex nutty notes with a whiff of orange peel are the perfect accompaniment to decadent salted caramel.