Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Last week I made sweet potato brownies.  I follow lots of Instagrams that feature healthy cooking and baking, endless photos of colourful and nourishing food.  Eat the rainbow.  I try and eat lots of vegetables and lean meat, except when it comes to Meat Liquor burgers, desserts and tea time.  I could sit down and eat a whole cake and not feel sick - I have an astounding capacity to chomp through endless plates of brownies.  I could live on triple chocolate cookies.  But then I thought - how wonderful it would be if there were actually recipes for the things I love that were also nutritious?  So I tried the sweet potato brownie recipe.  They turned out exactly as they were supposed to - they were sweet potato brownies.  

Maybe I just need to be more flexible?  Maybe my tastebuds need to grow up?  Maybe it was just the wrong recipe for me.  But I've come to the conclusion that if you're going to make brownies, or cakes, or millionaire shortbread with salted caramel, then you need to do it properly, and for me that means full fat.  And that means chocolate, butter, sugar and biscuits.  (No offence at all intended to people who love sweet potato brownies - in fact I'm jealous of you).  

This recipe is a cheat because I use pre-made digestive biscuits for the base and condensed milk for the caramel.  I actually prefer it to the version I make with real caramel, though.  So there.  And it's salted because I think salt is the most amazing ingredient we have.  I put it on everything, including my porridge. 

For the base:
250g Digestive biscuits 
125g Butter

For the caramel:
Can of condensed milk (about 400g)
150g Butter
150g Soft dark brown sugar
As much sea salt as you like

200g Milk chocolate (Or dark.  Or white.)

Heat the oven to 150°C for a fan oven and line a baking tray, one that measures about 20cm.

Crush the biscuits as much as you can.  I put them in a Ziploc bag and roll over them with a rolling pin until they're a big dusty mess.  Melt 125g of the butter and then pour the biscuit crumbs into the pan.  Stir them together and then pour the buttery. biscuity mixture into the baking tray, pushing it down so it's flat and even.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Take it out and leave to cool.  

Melt the 150g of butter and the sugar in a pan, then add the condensed milk.  Keep stirring as you bring it to the boil.  When the butter is no longer separated and the caramel has thickened add the salt - I use about a teaspoon - and then taste to see if it's salty enough.  It's usually not. When you've got yours perfect, pour it onto the biscuit base.  Put it in the fridge for about 30minutes, until the caramel has set - you should be able to touch it gently and still have a clean finger.  Melt the chocolate using the bain-marie method and then and pour it over the caramel.  Use a spatula to spread it evenly, then put the tray of amazing-ness back in the fridge for a couple of hours till the chocolate is hard.  Cut it into slices - I recommend heating the knife in hot water first so the chocolate doesn't crack.  Eat it for breakfast. With extra salt. 

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