Sometimes, only a very good chocolate brownie will do.
But most recipes make enough to feed a hungry army and will potentially bankrupt you through the lavish amount of butter, good chocolate and eggs you’ll need. For this recipe, you only need one small egg, a quarter of a really good bar of chocolate and a couple of tablespoons of dulce de leche which are the “pricey” bits (both calorie and pennywise) to make a batch that will yield 8 little brownies. Of course, you could cut them larger and have fewer – who am I to dictate your daily brownie allowance? I give you, my Small Batch Salted Caramel Brownies. 5 minutes to mix together, 15 minutes to bake. 5 seconds to devour…
I was having one of those days when the only thing which was going to satisfy me was ooey, gooey, sweet and salty, fudgy brownies but with 5:2 fast days to contend with, I didn’t want a ton weight of temptation on my countertop for days to come. These absolutely hit the spot and the best thing was, Hungry Hubby had been snacking on Haribo as I baked so didn’t want one – result. That will be two for me then 😉
Now I do realise to some these will look terribly small but really, no one truly needs a brownie, no matter how small but I won’t deny how life enhancing a little chocolaty indulgence can be. There’s nothing stopping you making a third or a quarter of your favourite brownie recipe in a small tray of course but quite frankly, when the full force of a chocolate craving hits you, there is no time to stop and work out egg fractions or the surface area of your oven proof dish collection! Yes that’s right, these brownies are in fact a public service 😉 …
The little foil trays I used can be found in pound shops and supermarkets. I got 5 for £1 (7 by 4.5 inches big) from Tesco but they don’t seem to be available online at the moment. Asda are selling them and the ever wonderful Iced Jems have them too at the mo (I’m even more in love with Iced Jems after I made a visit in person last week to teach my first ever class – how to make macarons – and it is a home baker’s paradise, I can’t recommend it enough :D).
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 50 g butter
- 75 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder level
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 40 g plain flour
- 1 small egg
- 2 tbsp dulce de leche*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt flakes not pouring/table salt
Preheat oven to 170˚C.
Grease a foil tin 18x11cm (7 by 4.5 inches) with a little extra butter or oil spray. If you can't get a disposable tray this size, check your small oven proof dishes and line with greased foil instead.
Place the chocolate and butter in a sauce pan and over low-medium heat, melt.
Take off the heat and whisk in the sugar, cocoa, vanilla and the egg then stir in the flour. Scrape into the prepared tin and smooth to flatten the top.
Place the dulce de leche in a small food bag or make a cone out of greaseproof paper, and pipe lines of caramel down the pan of brownie batter lengthways. Grease a dinner knife and drag through the caramel and batter perpendicular to the piped caramel, going from right to left alternately to create a "feathered" appearance. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until risen, the top dry to the touch but a skewer will have a little damp batter if inserted into the middle.
Cool on a rack for as long as your will power holds out before serving!
*= I use tins of condensed milk which I have cooked in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or you can buy it ready caramelised. You can use any caramel sauce you like but they tend never to be as thick and luscious as the condensed milk version so may spread more on baking.
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