I use to think I was a “Vanilla only” fan, with the exception of Cocoa Fudge. I never did care for brownies from a box or cheap chocolate. However, I’ve come to realize something over the past couple of years. The more I come up with chocolate recipes for all of my chocoholic friends, the more I’ve started liking chocolate. Well… that should actually be “past tense” now. Why? Because after I created this recipe for deep dark fudgy brownies marbled with caramel and topped embedded with lots of crunchy pecans and a sprinkling of kosher salt, I have fallen deeply for deep dark chocolate. Yes, I love chocolate!!
When I created this recipe, I knew that I wanted a deep dark fudgy brownie, made from good quality chocolate. I went straight for a bar of Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate and some Hershey’s cocoa. I decided I wanted to add some good rich caramel and a little salt, so that’s just what I did.
Let me tell ya how I made the caramel for these yummylicious brownies…
I added a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk to a pot of boiling water and boiled it for a couple of hours. Then I allowed it to cool completely before opening the can. By the way, when boiling the milk, it’s fine to use the can with a tab on top. It will not pop open or leak while in the boiling water. See the creamy caramel in the picture above? Next, I swirled the caramel into that deep dark chocolate and topped it with lots of pecans and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
I wanted these brownies to be thick and fudgy so I used a 9 x 9-inch pan, versus a 9 x 13-inch pan. Also, anytime I make any type of chocolate cake or brownies, I coat the pan with cocoa instead of flour. For these brownies, I lined the pan with parchment paper, buttered it and sprinkled it with cocoa.
With two types of dark bittersweet chocolate, these brownies are deep dark delicious!
These are the king of all brownies, with two types of dark bittersweet chocolate and pure butter, they are thick, rich and fudgy! The perfect brownie!!
FOR THE CARAMEL
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
FOR THE BROWNIES
- 2 sticks real butter
- 1 bar, 4 ounces, Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate, 60% Cacao
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/8 cups Hershey’s cocoa
- 1 cup pecan pieces
FOR THE CARAMEL
- Cook the caramel one day prior to making the brownies. Peel the paper label from the milk and place the can in a large pot. Cover with at least two inches of water and cook for two hours, making sure there is water covering the can of milk at all times. Allow the can of milk to cool for about an hour and place it in a refrigerator until ready to use. Cool completely before opening or it will explode.
FOR THE BROWNIES
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper the width of a 9″ x 9″ square baking pan, and long enough to hang over both sides of the pan. Place a small dab of butter on the bottom and two sides where the paper will be to hold the paper in place. Line the pan with the paper. Butter the sides of the pan and all of the paper on the inside of the pan. Sprinkle the sides and surface with cocoa powder.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cocoa and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt.
- Melt the butter in a small bowl until it is melted and very hot. Break the bar of chocolate into pieces and drop it into the melted butter. Let chocolate and butter set for two to three minutes until the chocolate is beginning to melt and whisk the two together.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix on medium-low speed for about one minute to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just long enough to incorporate the dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Place large dollops of the caramel over the top of the chocolate batter. Use a skewer or knife to swirl it into the batter. Scatter one cup of broken pecan pieces over the surface, followed by the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt.
- Bake anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, depending on oven and until a toothpick inserted into the brownie part, (not the caramel), comes out with moist crumbs on it but not clean. Do not over bake.
- Allow pan to set for about 15 minutes. Run a knife along the two insides of the pan where there is no paper. Holding the ends of the paper, gently lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a wire rack to finish cooling. For perfect slicing, place the brownies in a refrigerator first until they are very cold.
- Store brownies in an airtight container.
- Bake time varies between 60 and 70 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Cook time does not include cooking the milk, which takes 2 hours.
- These brownies are very rich and best cut into smaller bars. Cut them into 9 bars and then cut each bar in half.
- These are perfect to serve as brownie bites at a party. Cut each one in half again and place them in tiny muffin papers.