It was the end of an era at work this week: a bartender who’s been here seven years has finally left us for Australia. Very exciting for him, very sad for all of us. It wasn’t a Friday (my usual baking day) but for his last day I figured I should bring in some treats anyway. He’s a white chocolate fiend, so I started with that and this is what I ended up with.
These are delicious. And pretty easy to make, too! True, you have to make caramel, but that’s as tricky as it gets. The hardest part is waiting for the brownies to cool long enough to glaze them.
White Chocolate & Chocolate Chip Brownies
(Loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
225 grams white chocolate, coarsely chopped
280 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cup flour + a little extra for coating the chips
250 grams milk chocolate, in small chunks or chips
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Butter a 9×13 inch pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment, leaving a couple inches’ overhang on either side. Butter the parchment.
2. Melt the white chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. It may look a bit chunky and weird, but don’t panic. Once you add the sugar and eggs it should smooth out nicely. Take the melted mixture off the heat and let cool.
3. While the chocolate and butter mix is cooling, coat the chocolate chips/chunks in flour. I just tossed them in a sandwich bag with a couple tablespoons of flour. I ended up with a bit of extra flour, too, so I just poured the bag out over a mesh strainer. Set the coated chocolate aside.
4. Whisk in the sugar. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
5. Add the salt and flour together and stir until just combined.
6. Spread the batter in the baking tray. Sprinkle the milk chocolate evenly over the top, swirling slightly with a rubber spatula, and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden at the edges and set in the middle. Let cool completely.
Chocolate Caramel Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
a squeeze (1/8-1/4 teaspoon) lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon flakey salt
2 tablespoons (about 25 grams) butter, in thin slices or 1/4-inch cubes
250 grams dark chocolate (I used 72%)
1. Chop up your chocolate and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Get all your other ingredients lined up and ready – you won’t want to be digging around your pantry with hot caramel on the stove. Heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until just about to boil. Set aside.
3. Combine sugar, water, and the lemon juice in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Make sure the pan is very clean and dry. You’ll also want to have a pastry brush handy to brush any stray sugar from the sides. A couple sugar crystals on the side can make the whole thing crystalize.
4. Cook over medium heat without stirring until the mixture is a nice amber color. Every recipe I’ve ever seen says this takes about 7-8 minutes; I have never managed it in less than 15.
5. As soon as the caramel is done cooking, remove from heat. Add the butter and 1/3 of the cream. Stir until the bubbling dies down, then add the rest of the cream and the salt. Stir until well-mixed, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally, for about an hour.
6. Pour over the brownies, smoothing and evening out with a rubber spatula. Let set for another hour or two – I put mine in the freezer to speed this along. Cut and serve.