Brown Sugar Brownies with French Sea Salt

Time for a chocolate fix

Every once in a while, my sluggish sweet tooth wakes up and reminds me it’s time for a hit of chocolate. I suspect it has a little bit to do with the dew point, the Dow Jones average, Tony Soprano’s anxiety level and the price of tea in China. When certain things line up a particular way, well, watch out. I’ll be on the prowl for chocolate.

It’s a good thing I have a stash on hand for just those moments. It makes it so easy to wander into the kitchen and mix up a pan of deep, dark, moist chocolate brownies.

I strayed from a basic brownie batter by using some brown sugar and fancy fleur de sel because I wanted to intensify the flavors. But now I’m thinking I should have used some of the salt to sprinkle over the top of the ganache icing, to really point up the flavor. Yes! In fact, that’s what you should do if you happen to make these.

Fellow blogger Myriam at Once Upon a Tart is hosting Brownie Babe of the Month - check out her round-up of delicious brownies from the blogosphere....

Brown Sugar Brownies with Fancy French Sea Salt
makes about 16 bars

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaked sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a sheet of overhanging parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in 8 ounces of the chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with vanilla and the two sugars. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Fold in the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just to incorporate.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes, or until edges are firm and center is still slightly soft. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Remove brownie in one slab and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.

Place the cream in a heatproof glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 – 40 seconds. Pour over the remaining chocolate in a small bowl and let sit 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup and stir until completely melted and smooth.

Set brownie slab on a rack over a large piece of parchment or waxed paper. Pour ganache over the center of the slab and gently spread to the sides. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over the top. Let set about 1 hour before slicing into bars - use a knife that has been heated under hot running water, wiping the blade clean after each cut.

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William Conway said...

Holy cow that's a lot of chocolate. Are you the Easter bunny?

I keep seeing chocolate treats with salt in/on them. I swear if I see one more recipe with sea salt delicately sprinkled over a chocolate this-or-that I'm going to have to run out and make something delicious.

Karen said...

More like Countess Chocula.

Salt + Chocolate = Taste Sensation!

Brilynn said...

I think my sweet tooth is permanently on, these look amazing!

Deborah Dowd said...

Your brownies look incredible... chocolatey and rich. Salt and chocolate does not seem like a logical combination to me, but with so many people trying it, it must be good!

Karen said...

Brilynn and Deborah, these will fix up your sugar tooth, for sure!

Helene said...

These look scrumptious. love the shiny glaze and of course the salt.

Susan said...

This is such an engaging post, Karen! It's amazing the way the salt compliments the chocolate's intensity. I tried it for the first time last fall on some bread, and I've been hooked ever since. Your brownies sound divine (a "10" on the addictive scale). :)

Liza said...

I have made the list and sent S out to buy the few additional ingredients I need and we are having those for dessert tonight. YUM. I can't wait.

Karen said...

Thanks, Helene. Shiny chocolate glazes hook me every time.

Susan, addictive, yes! One of my favorite snacks when I worked at bakery in RI was good crusty (and kinda salty) Italian bread with a hunk of chocolate inside.

Liza, let me know how you like them. I'll be thinking of you...

janelle said...

I adore the use of sea salt with baking and treats. We were at a dinner where they served chocolate covered caramels with sea salt on top: loved them!

Kristen said...

Chocolate and sea salt...oh my!

Kristen said...

Oh, wow. Those are gorgeous! Definitely adding to my 'to try' list. :)

Squishy said...

Sensational :)

Sheri said...

These look life threateningly good. Wow!

Anonymous said...

These are incredible !!!

sweetsusie said...

These must be my favorite brownies! Just the right amount of everything and I love the salt on top - good balance and good texture.

Anonymous said...

These brownies look amazing! I'm thinking that I would use my smoked hazelnut salt on them or even my smoked pinot noir salt. I'm going to have to try them and let you know. You can check out my salts at www.lordsofsalt.com I'm going to use my smoked chocolate salt first. I can't wait!