Saturday, June 23, 2012
The Perfect P.M.S. Brownie
One night last week I was craving brownies. Which is odd for me. I'm not a "brownie" person (I maybe have mentioned this before). I enjoy brownies.....there's nothing wrong with brownies. But if I had to choose between brownies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies or ice cream. I'd choose cookies. (at least that's my answer today). But I think sometimes, one needs chocolate. Copious amounts of luscious chocolate. Other than a chocolate bar....the only way to really get that desire filled is with a brownie.
Back to my night of craving. It was late. I was lazy so I didn't make them. The next day one of my fellow Brujas (there are four of us Brujas at work and sometimes we like to indulge in sinfully delicious fun) sent me a link to a Betty Crocker email that had a recipe for Salted Dulce de Leche Swirl Brownies. I think it was a sign from heaven. My craving was meant to be satiated.
You're going to want to start making this batch of brownies either early in the morning, or the night before. Why???!!!!! I know....when one wants brownies, one wants them now. But there's an important step that makes them extra rich....you have to make (term used lightly) dulce de leche.
Dulce de Leche
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp salt
Remove the label from the can. Place the can (unopened) in a very large pot and fill with water until the can is completely submerged. Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat down to medium-low. Cook for 3 (yes 3) hours. Check every now and then to make sure the can is still completely covered with water....adding more water if necessary. Allow the can to cool completely.
Once cooled you can open it.
This is the part that's always frustrating for me. Opening of cans. I have yet to purchase a new can opener that works consistently and for more than a few weeks. I always struggle with the darned things. Something somehow malfunctions and the gears don't seem to line up or something...I dunno....but I struggle and cuss and swear until I toss the damn can opener aside and dig out my really super old, probably made for camping, can opener.
Works every time.
btw...don't get me started on electric can openers. I have one. I got it for Christmas about 10 or more years ago. It's still in the box. I think Sir Sportsalot forgot that he needs to install it.
Soo.....you open your cooled can of sweetened condensed milk that has caramelized which is now dulce de leche
Scoop it into a small bowl and stir in the salt. Set aside.
For the bownies....use your favorite brownie recipe. Whether its from a box, or made from scratch. I often use the Baker's One Bowl Brownies recipe. Its easy...and it's good.
One Bowl Brownies
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts of choice (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350' F
Line a pan with parchment paper (makes for easy clean up) or grease a pan. One recipe says to use a 9" square pan....and another says to use 13 x 9. I think it might depend on your recipe and how thick you want your brownies. You might have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Just let the toothpick be your guide. In this case...a semi clean toothpick.
In a large bowl, microwave the butter and chocolate on high for 2 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Stir until the chocolate melts.
Stir in the sugar
Blend in the eggs and vanilla....stir quickly at this point....so the eggs don't start to cook from the warmth of the chocolate mixture.
Add the flour and optional nuts. Mix well
It's a little tempting to just grab a spoon here and now, and dig in.
Spread half of your brownie mix into your prepared pan. Top with 1/3 of the delce de leche and swirl it around with a knife
Carefully spread the rest of your brownie mix on, and then top with the remaining dulce de leche...and swirl again.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost...kinda, sorta clean.
With this brownie recipe...I did have to increase the baking time by about 10 minutes. If you're using a box mix....try the 40 minutes...and see how it goes from there.
Allow to cool completely.
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
Coarse Sea Salt (I just used coarse kosher salt)
Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, or by placing the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and heating on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
Cut the brownies into squares (size is up to you). Spread the melted chocolate over each one. It helps if you just keep all the brownies together and you can just pour the chocolate over all of them with a little help from a spoon. Sprinkle with salt.
Get a nice tall glass of cold milk....and take a few minutes to enjoy these rich, extremely chocolaty, salty brownies.
In my opinion....these are perfect for....well....you know....those times when cravings must win.