28 October 2010

Baked Explorations

Baked is one of my favorite cookbooks and I wrote about it back in April of 2009. Well, the Baked boys are back with a new cookbook. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have another winner with Baked Explorations.

Baked Explorations features traditional American baked goods with exciting twists. Check out this interview at Eater for more incites into the Baked experience. To get a look at the actual bakery check out their Baked web site.

And now, without further ado...Wait! Let me just say here that the recipe is long and seems complicated. But here is the truth. The recipe has two components -- sweet and salty. Then the two components have to be assembled. So you really do not want a recipe that leaves out valuable sets do you? My advice is to read the recipe -- read it again -- and when you fully grasp the steps, you will see it is not nearly as complicated as you might think from looking at it.

So now, really, without further ado... a recipe.

Sweet & Salty Brownie

1 c. sugar
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fleur de sel
1/4 cup sour cream

1 and 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 & 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 and 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon coarse sugar

Make the Caramel:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup 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.

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

Make the Brownie:

Preheat oven to 350. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.

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. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey. 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. Completely cool before serving.

What else? Oh yeah, Matt went to the University of Alabama so no wonder he knows how to bake. I know that many of you are quite distraught that Alabama has a "buy" this Saturday. I know I am at a loss for what to do. Well, here's and idea -- BAKE!!!

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