Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweet & Salty Brownie | Secret Recipe Club

A little over a month ago while browsing through various blogs, I came across an interesting site, called Amanda’s Cooking. She sponsors a fun event called “The Secret Recipe Club” where the idea is that you are assigned another bloggers site to peruse and then select a recipe to make. A specific date is given where all participants will post and link back so all of the “secret” recipes can be shared.

This is my first month and I was delighted to be assigned to Emily’s blog, Nomnivorous. Emily is a twenty something apparel designer who lives in Brooklyn. Her blog is chalk full of wonderful recipes and stories. If you have not visited her blog prior, please take a few minutes to explored and be ready to be delighted. It was certainly challenging to make a decision as to my choice for my very first Secret Recipe Club entry, since there were such a great variety of splendid recipes to choose from.

After much debate, I decided on the Sweet and Salty Brownie from the stunning cook book – Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I did not realize until sifting through Emily’s blog that there is an online baking group dedicated to cooking their way through this spectacular book. I happen to own this book and have only made one or two things from it so far. What a perfect excuse to make another wonderful treat from this already iconic cookbook.

I changed very little about the recipe except to eliminate the sour cream from the caramel sauce and add two more ounces of chocolate to the brownie mixture.

Years ago growing up, a neighbor’s Mom would make Caramel Brownies and I swear I could eat half the pan in one sitting, they were that good. I would inquire often for the recipe and for whatever reason, never got it. Now that this sweet & salty brownie is out, my search for the caramel brownie is over.

Sweet & Salty Brownie
{from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented }


1 c. sugar
2 T. light corn syrup
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 t. fleur de sel


1 1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 T. dark cocoa powder
13 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 t. vanilla


1 ½ t. fleur de sel
1 t. coarse sugar

Make the Caramel:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 c. water, stirring together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat, until a thermometer reads 350 degrees and is dark amber in color. About 6 minutes.

Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will bubble up). Then add the fleur de sel. Set aside to cool.

Make the Brownie:

Preheat oven to 350. Use non-stick spray to coat bottom and sides of a 9 x 13" pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder.

Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water.

Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water. Whisk in both sugars until completely combined. Removed bowl from pan.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until there is just a trace of the flour mixture remaining.


Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Drizzle and 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce (not all of it) over the batter, trying to stay away from the edges. Gently spread the caramel sauce evenly. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the remaining batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently over the caramel.

Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and the coarse sugar.

Cool completely before serving.


  1. Love the gooyness and moist texture of the brownies, looks very delicious.

  2. These are goooorgeous! Thank you for the kind words, and I'm so happy you enjoyed these brownies. I loved how the caramel gets absorbed by the brownies and there's that hidden delight in every brownie.

    But you really cannot go wrong with that book, period!

  3. Hi Lisa, Oh my! So many delightful blogs, recipes and cooking groups! You've stumbled onto a fantastic recipe for brownies, I'm putting this on my to-do list, you've photographed it wonderfully;-)

  4. Oh I am sure these were to die for! It would be my choice of a yummy treat on any dessert table!

  5. Ooh, I've never thought to do that mixture on top of brownies but I bet it was delicious! They look fantastic!

  6. Those caramel pictures are drool-worthy! These look SO good!!

  7. I've had my eye on this recipe for a while, waiting for the perfect excuse to make it. Maybe my excuse should be "it's monday"?!

  8. Wow I can not wait to make these brownies! Delicious!

  9. Oh yumm!! Looks like a great combination of flavors.

  10. That is mouth watering! Haven't been here for the longest time !! Miss reading your posts!

    Have a Fabulous day!

  11. We love the chocolate caramel combo, I'll have to give this recipe a try.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  12. oh my word. The deliciousness! WOW.

  13. Luv that image of the ooey-gooey caramel clinging to the whisk...yum! These brownies look too tempting and would certainly satisfy my all-to-often chocolate cravings of late! :)

    What a great idea to bake through the Baked Explorations book. I might have liked joining that group too as I have the book, but haven't used it nearly enough.

  14. I have seen this recipe in blogland but have yet to make it. But...we are having a family reunion this weekend. A perfect time to bake and share! I'm sure this recipe will be a hit on the dessert table. Have a great weekend.

  15. as far as i'm concerned, all brownies should involve salted caramel. heck, all chocolate should involved salted caramel! :)

  16. Pinning these to try...they look WONDERFUL!! Isn't SRC a blast? I had such fun this was my first time to take part, and I can't wait to see who I'm assigned to check out this time!!

  17. These brownies look absolutely divine! Salted caramel always wins in my books.

  18. These look fantastic, and I am so with you on a bit more chocolate here...they look firm but still gooey, perfection!

  19. Thanks you for taking a brownies but making it more sophisticated, yet still keeping it a brownie! GREG

  20. I'm scared to make my own caramel but I bet it's fantastic!

    Glad to be part of SRC with you!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

  21. I'm glad you eliminated the sour cream and upped the chocolate :) The brownies look sinfully delicious!

  22. OMG-that caramel & sweet/salty topping is genius! So fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you.

  23. I'm recently obsessed with all things chocolate caramel and salty, thank you tons for this recipe!


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