Recently I somehow managed to convince my charming friend Nic to order deep fried calamari coated in salted egg yolk, mostly out of curiosity on my part and also because I love any damn thing made with egg yolks. I must thank him for not outright rejecting that rather unusual choice, but anyway the risk paid off – they were strangely morish, which shouldn’t have been a surprise given my love for calamari, egg yolks, and deep frying, but they seriously looked like giant luminously orange cheese Twisties. I would totally eat a plateful again now, proving that sometimes the freakiest looking things are sometimes the most delicious. I must admit that my willingness to eat interesting things is probably mostly due to being Asian. Or possibly I’m always just hungry enough to eat anything.
Here’s something that’s also ugly-delicious – these salted caramel chocolate brownies. I should add a disclaimer that they weren’t meant to look like this. They were meant to be beautifully smooth with a caramel and chocolate swirled top, not all pock-marked and ravaged. But life can play cruel jokes and cause the offspring of 2 gorgeous things to end up looking as though its parents were brother and sister.
Or I may have accidentally had the oven temperature up too high when I baked them. ANYWAY. They are terribly rich little morsels, almost like chocolate fudge with chewy bits of buttery salty caramel. They’re actually so rich that you only need a small chunk and you’re done, for at least whole 10 minutes. I think some accompanying vanilla ice cream would be a good idea for contrast but when has vanilla ice cream not been a good idea, I ask you? The other amazing thing about these is that you can cut them up and keep them in the fridge for ages or even freeze them and just eat them straight out of the freezer whenever you want like some kind of Neanderthal, if Neanderthals had freezers.
Speaking of major appliances, I cannot possibly be the only one who likes to look at stovetops and ovens, wondering if 7 burners would suffice, opening and closing oven doors to test if it’s going to be big enough for the pretend turkey I’m about to roast? Fridges are even more fun. I saw the hugest fridge that had a door inside the door, in case you didn’t want to open the entire fridge each time just to grab something. However I would still open the whole fridge because everything inside it is a kingdom that I created, and I like to survey it as often as possible.
Actually I recommend that you go out and buy that fridge to store these brownies inside the door for the easiest possible access.
SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
adapted from Poires Au Chocolate
150g caster sugar
100ml pouring cream
20g unsalted butter
1 tsp sea salt
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
75g golden syrup
300g quality 70% dark chocolate
70g plain flour
Heat the caster sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the sugar around as it melts evenly, don’t stir it as it may crystallize. Once the liquid is a deep honey colour, take off the heat and whisk in the 1/3 of the cream before adding the rest of the cream, then add the butter in chunks and stir until smooth. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
For the brownie, preheat the oven to 160C and line a 20x20cm tin. Heat the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and golden syrup and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is incorporated and smooth. Whisk the eggs separately in a bowl and stir them into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and beat until smooth before pouring into the tin. Pour the caramel over the chocolate mix and swirl through with a knife. Sprinkle the sea salt over the top. Bake for 30 minutes. The brownies should be set on top but still very moist inside. Leave to cool and then refrigerate overnight or freeze for a few hours to set. Slice with a hot knife for clean slices. Serve at room temperature, cold or frozen.