Chocolate, Caramel and Rum Brownies

Once you make this you’re gonna wish you had an infinite supply. This recipe works so well that even my partner (my biggest baking critic) wanted more. This brownie recipe has given me the confidence to feel like a star-baker each time I make them, and although it's not the most straightforward recipe it does all come together beautifully, and with a few little hacks, it's almost fool-proof! These beautiful gooey chocolate brownies have a sweet and salty homemade caramel sandwiched in the middle then the top is sprinkled with lemon zest for a little cut of citrus between the sugar. 

Makes 8 Brownies

For The Caramel: 
100g Granulated Sugar 
1 tbsp Rum (optional)
50g Butter
60ml Double Cream 
Pinch of Sea Salt 

Brownie Batter:
100g Butter, melted 
180g Plain Cooking Chocolate 
4 Eggs
60g Light Soft Brown Sugar 
110g Caster Sugar
120g Plain Flour 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
30g Cocoa Powder OR good quality Hot Chocolate Powder
Zest of half a Lemon 

First of all, we need to make the caramel, this isn't quite as scary as it sounds but you do need to keep an eye on it because it burns very fast! Tip the granulated sugar into a small saucepan on VERY low heat, let this melt for around 10 mins, I always put one timer on 10 mins and one timer on 2 mins to stir the caramel and make sure it doesn't burn. 

Once the sugar has fully melted take it off the heat and quickly add the rum if you choose to, be careful as it will spit, and immediately stir in the butter (please don’t taste it yet it’ll be literally scolding hot!). Pour in your cream and add the sea salt then give it one final stir, now leave to cool for 20 minutes, this time I set a full 20 min timer and another timer every 3-5 minutes to stir the mixture.

Now preheat your oven to 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas Mark 5 and grab a square baking tin, if you butter the tin rather than using foil or parchment paper, not only is it better for the environment but you'll find you get fluffier, larger bakes least I do anyway. 
Now it's time to melt the chocolate and butter. You can do this one of two ways, either through a Bain-Marie method where you melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl positioned over a bowl of boiling water on low heat on a hob, as long as the heatproof bowl doesn't touch the water this will melt the chocolate to create a much glossier mix but I was a little lazy this time and just melted the chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave on the low setting, taking out and stirring every 30 seconds until the butter and chocolate have melted. 

Now to make your brownie/traybake mixture. Mix together the eggs and both sugars with an electric beater until they’re a biscuit colour and smooth then gently fold in the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and chocolate until combined, you should have a thick pourable batter. 

Now comes the fun part, tip half the batter into your tin and smooth it over until it evenly covers the tin. Spoon the caramel out on top until it covers the first layer, then add the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the caramel making sure it reaches all corners of the tin. 

Bake it for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, immediately grate the lemon zest over the top and leave to cool for 15 mins. 

Once it’s cool enjoy the chocolate gooey traybake with the ones you love! This is one of the yummiest things I’ve ever baked, and when re-modelling this recipe this must be the 4th or 5th time I've made these brownies and each time they come out moist, sweet and full of flavour! I wish I could say we were able to hand them out to family and friends to try but the truth is it was all gone in 3 days! If you are a bit daunted by the caramel part and mixing of the caramel and brownie batter, I don’t think it’ll feel so technical once you've given it a go a few more times, there are a lot of ingredients involved and it could be a bit time consuming at first but 100% worth it as a treat or for a special occasion. I love this recipe and will continue to work on it as the years go on to always be adapting and fitting it to the moment, of course, you don't need to use alcohol in it at all it's just a fun addition to the caramel to cut through some of that sugar but these are incredibly tasty however you make them and I hope you find the time to give these a go as I promise yourself and those you choose to share it with will be dreaming about it after the first bite! 

H x