If you’re looking for a super fudgy brownie, sandwiched with a luscious salted caramel, you’ve come to the right place. These salted caramel brownies are wickedly delicious. So moist, rich and perfectly balanced with salty-sweet flavours. You’re going to love them.
A brownie is good, but an intensely fudgy dark chocolate brownie, stuffed with luscious, gooey salted caramel? YES PLEASE.
This recipe uses an easy cheat salted caramel that comes together in less than 5 minutes. A classic caramel is made by melting sugar to a specific temperature and then adding butter and cream. The problem with this is you really do need a candy thermometer to make sure you’re doing it right – it’s common to not cook the caramel long enough, or take it too far so it burns and solidifies. It’s also fiddly – you have to be careful that the sugar doesn’t crystallise. Basically, it’s a lot of work! This cheat’s version uses condensed milk which is a super quick shortcut to a delicious caramel that thickens up gorgeously.
I’m also sharing a couple of tips and tricks to help you bake a delicious, fudgy brownie every time. No cakey, dry brownies in sight! The recipe makes a big batch, but the brownies freeze well and will last for at least a week stored in a sealed container at room temperature or even longer in the fridge.
Everything you need for these brownies you’ll easily be able to pick up at a store.
- Dark chocolate. I love using dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. I’ll usually use the Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate. If you’re lucky enough to be in New Zealand, the Whittaker’s 72% dark ghana is the best one to use.
- Sweetened condensed milk. This one is key for the cheat’s salted caramel. If you’ve not used it before, sweetened condensed milk is exactly what it says on the tin – milk that’s been condensed (most of the water is cooked out to create a concentrated flavour) and sugar is added. It essentially can be used in place of anything that calls for sugar and cream (making it perfect for caramel). This recipe uses a whole tin to minimise waste!
- Butter. I’m using unsalted butter in this recipe, but use salted if that’s what you can find. It’s generally not salty enough to make a big difference in this recipe, so don’t worry about ending up with salty brownies. Another bonus about this recipe is that you can use it straight from the fridge – no need for it to be at room temperature.
- Cocoa powder. You can use any cocoa powder here – regular or Dutch-processed. You can use cacao powder instead – but it’s got a slightly different flavour so it’s not quite as chocolatey.
- Flour. Plain, all-purpose flour is fine here.
- Eggs. Always free range, and at room temperature here if possible.
- Sugar. I’m using a combination of caster sugar and dark brown sugar – I love the rich, caramel hint the brown sugar brings, but you could use all caster sugar if that’s what you have.
How to make them
Start by making the salted caramel. This easy version uses condensed milk to give you a head start (rather than making caramel by heating sugar and adding butter which can be tricky). Get the condensed milk into a small pan then add golden syrup and butter. Turn the heat to low and then cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. You’re looking for the caramel to get a little more golden and thicken up slightly. It can quickly burn so make sure you are stirring and keeping the heat on low. Once the caramel hits a thicker consistency, remove from the heat then sprinkle over the flaky sea salt. Mix it through the caramel then set it aside.
It’s time to melt all that glorious chocolate! I’m doing it in the microwave because I find it easier and fewer dishes than melting it on the stovetop. Get the butter and chocolate (broken into chunks) into a microwave-proof bowl, and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until you’ve got a glossy, melted chocolatey butter situation. Set it aside to cool a little.
Now it’s time for the brownie batter itself. Get your eggs and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric whisk or you can use a hand whisk). My first trick for a super fudgy, gooey brownie is to vigorously whip the eggs and sugar. That’s because the whipping means the sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated into the eggs. It also gives you that lovely crinkly, meringue-like top! Whip the eggs and sugar together for five minutes, until they’re looking fluffy and bubbly.
Pour in the cooled chocolate/butter mix (make sure this isn’t hot when you add it or you could end up with scrambled eggs). Whisk the mixture again, until it’s super glossy and thick. At this point, add in the dry ingredients. I like to measure them out in a separate bowl, and then use a sieve to sift them in. Finally, you’re going to ‘fold’ the mixture together. The easiest way to describe this is to perform a figure of 8 movement in your bowl with a large spatula. You want to slowly perform this move, scooping up from underneath to make sure everything is being mixed together. You want to do this gently to keep the airiness you just spent time creating by whisking the eggs. Once the ingredients are JUST mixed together, it’s time to put everything together.
Pour about half of your brownie mixture into your lined dish, smoothing the mixture out so it coats the base. Follow with the salted caramel, again smoothing it out to cover the brownie layer. Finish with the rest of the brownie mix and spread it out across the caramel. Don’t worry if it’s a little messy and the caramel gets mixed in with the brownie – it will have a gorgeous marbled look and taste delicious. Bake at 180C fan for 35 minutes, then leave to cool completely before cutting and devouring.
My second trick for a perfectly fudgy brownie is actually to slightly UNDERBAKE it. The brownies will keep cooking and setting as they come out of the oven and cool, so by the time that’s happened, they’ll be at the perfect consistency. It’s also important to let it cool because if you cut into it too soon, it’ll be tricky to cut cleanly and will fall apart. You can pop the dish in the fridge if you like – this will make the slicing even easier.
Got a question?
I like using super dark chocolate in this recipe – so anything at a 70% cocoa content or above. In the UK, I use the Lindt 70% or 90% cocoa dark chocolate or the Green & Blacks 70% or 85% cocoa dark chocolate. And in New Zealand, I ALWAYS use Whittaker’s (the 72% dark ghana is where it’s at).
Baking is very precise, so I wouldn’t recommend tinkering with the quantities here because you just won’t get the same result. Sugar isn’t just present in baking for sweetness – it plays a crucial role in keeping things moist and fudgy, which is key here. No one wants a dry brownie, which is what will happen if you reduce the sugar content.
I find these brownies will last for at least a week in a sealed container at room temperature, and even longer in the fridge. You can pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm up slightly if you like.
You can! I’ve given instructions for this in the recipe card below and also in the step-by-step instructions above – but the only part of the recipe I use a stand mixer for is whipping the eggs and sugar. You can do this with a regular electric handheld whisk or you can do it with a regular whisk, it will just take a little longer (and some elbow grease!) to get the fluffy result.
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If you make these brownies I’d love to hear what you think! You can leave me a comment below.Print