This evening I did some advance baking for some friends’ birthdays at the weekend. I baked some lactose-free carrot cupcakes that I will ice on Saturday – I will share those next week assuming it is not a massive disaster. Also if anyone has any Vitalite butter icing tips, I would really appreciate them. I also made some gooey salted caramel brownies – not lactose free but you can easily make them gluten free by switching the flour. Mmm… Salted Caramel. These brownies are amazing, seriously. They don’t look as pretty as some of the other stuff I make but they taste so good.
Again, these use Nigella’s salted caramel sauce recipe, which is super easy – no sugar thermometer required. Just remember to use decent salt.
The caramel is added to my failsafe brownie recipe. I use this brownie recipe all the time and add in whatever I fancy (chopped up Bounties, finger of fudges, Dime Bars, pecans etc)
- 185g unsalted butter
- 200g decent chocolate (I use one bar of Green and Blacks dark and one milk)
- 85g plain flour (regular or gluten-free Doves Farm)
- 40g cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 2 quantities of Nigella’s salted caramel (make it with slightly less cream to make sure it is thick enough) made in advance and totally cooled (although in an emergency the freezer works – don’t let it actually freeze)
- Cut butter into cubes and put into a pyrex type bowl with the chocolate (broken into small pieces) Melt them together by putting the bowl over a pan of simmering water but make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir occasionally until they are combined. You can also do this by shoving it in the microwave but watch it really closely because chocolate burns easily. Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160c. Line your tin with tin foil or baking parchment. I use a tin that is about 6 x 12 inches.
- Break the eggs into your bowl and add in the golden caster sugar whisk on high until light and thick and creamy – it should become pale and double in volume. It takes a while and is the most important step, this is what makes them light.
- Pour the cooled chocolate mixture in, then gently fold together with a spatula.Be careful not to knock the air out.
- Add in the sifted cocoa and flour mixture and fold in really gently until just combined. If you are making regular brownies, now would be the time to add in chopped up chocolate bars and whatever else you fancy.
- Pour the half the mixture into the tin and push it out into the corners making sure it is even. Then add the caramel. Try to avoid getting it too close to the edges if you can. Then add the other half of the brownie mix and smooth it over. Pop it in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or so. To test if it is done shake the tin a bit, it shouldn’t wobble like jelly. I find the skewer test a bit redundant for brownie making because if it comes out clean you have probably over cooked them or missed a caramel seam.
- Leave them until they are totally cold. In this case, I mean it, they firm up and become manageable when cold. You can always reheat them later if you like.
So there you go… Enjoy!