Salted caramel brownies: uglyducklingbakery bloopers
While I have unending devotion to the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I occasionally stray into caramel. For weeks I have been looking forward to making this Smitten Kitchen recipe for salted caramel brownies.
In the spirit of the ugly duckling bakery, I am going to share these imperfections with you. Maybe I’ll try again. Maybe I’ll just go back to making perfect chocolate brownies without the caramel.
The uglyducklingbakery “bloopers” series is going to be a collection of stories of recipes gone awry. It sometimes seems like everything is perfect on the internet. In reality, things don’t always go the way we plan, and that’s ok.
The recipe calls for making caramel, freezing it for 20-40 min, mixing most of the pieces into the brownie batter, and sprinkling the rest over the top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. There’s nothing worse than over-baked brownies. I made sure the temperature was right, and I checked at 25 minutes. Caramel was bubbling through the top of the brownie like a simmering soup, but the brownie itself was far from done. I baked them for another 7 or 8 minutes, until my toothpick came out clean.
They weren’t a total failure. I do occasionally have those, and I have no problem tossing baking failures (or, pre-COVID, leaving them in the work breakroom. You know anything left in the breakroom gets met with joy.).
The brownies taste faintly of burnt caramel. If I had to guess my problem, it was that I cut the frozen caramel into pieces smaller than the one inch squares suggested. Or maybe SK really undercooks these brownies – she describes ooey-gooey brownies like they are molten chocolate cake. Her pics definitely look that way.
I suspect that, when smothered with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, no one will notice any issues. I know Mr. uglyducklingbakery was happy, because this time I left him the bowl.
eta: the brownies were a definite improvement on day 2. The caramel appears to have soaked into the rest of the brownie, so it may be that if you want a brownie dripping with gooey caramel, you have to serve them underbaked on day 1.