Monday, October 3, 2011

salted dulce de leche brownies

It's that time of year again. The time of year when I wake up not wanting to get out of bed; to stay bundled up in layers of blankets against the chill of the morning. When kitchens smell like pie crust and nutmeg. When I can wrap myself up in a thick pashmina and tuck my jeans into sturdy boots. When I want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa in an oversized sweatshirt with a mug of tea. Pea coats and wool hats. Apple-picking and pumpkin patches. Cinnamon latte mornings and lentil stew evenings.

It's also the start of birthday season. My own was last week, and just four days later my dear friend Beth turned 20 as well. She has a rather large sweet tooth and appreciation for delicious things, so we get along swimmingly. Though we don't have a chance to chat very often [we live far apart and have hugely different schedules, despite attending the same school], a lunch-date of iced coffee and Thai curry is always enough to catch-up.

And, of course, I knew I'd be baking her something for the occasion.

I also haven't baked anything in quite a while [all the Middle-Eastern desserts lean more toward the stove-top cooking end of the spectrum], so I wanted to make sure it would be quite good. I settled on two of the greatest things in the world: dulce de leche and brownies. Salted, of course.

[Autumn just sings salted caramel, don't you think?]

I think I can confidently say that I own more cookbooks than any college student in history. Possibly also most housewives. Also, nothing makes me happier than Pashminas. Also, yes, that is a Sherlock mug.

Salted Dulce-de-Leche Brownies
Adapted from Apt. 2B Baking Co. 

For the brownies, you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 11 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup [2 sticks] unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
For the filling, you'll need
  • 1 14-oz can dulce de leche
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line and grease a 9x13-inch pan.

Put the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over simmering water and stir occasionally until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in the eggs and whisk on medium speed until incorporated. Add in both sugars and vanilla. Gradually add in flour and salt and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, mix dulce de leche and 1 tsp salt until thoroughly combined.

Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Gently spread the salted dulce de leche on top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top of the dulce de leche and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set. Sprinkle fleur de sel on top of the baked brownies. Let brownies cool completely before cutting.

These are fan-flipping-tastic. I love the cake-y texture, which is odd since I typically prefer the fudgier variety. The salted dulce de leche offsets the sweetness of the brownies perfectly. A good, chocolate-y, fall dessert, and a nice source of comfort after the anti-climactic resolution that was the series 6 finale of Doctor Who.

Though I think pumpkin will need to make an appearance in my kitchen quite soon.

Yes. Definitely pumpkin. Pumpkin and ginger. I think that's a rather comforting combination. It'll be a nice addition to a week spent watching Merlin on Netflix studying for midterms.


  1. These look super delicious Sabeen!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Egads!! Your Sherlock mug! Also, these brownies look AMAZING. <3

  4. This combination made me "oooh" out loud!

  5. So glad I found your blog. These look amazing!

  6. @Lexi: I'm so glad you like the mug! Haha and thanks for the lovely comment :)

    @Maia: It's pretty tantalizing, I understand!

    @Laken: Thanks so much!!

  7. Oh my gosh these brownies look scrumptious! I love the gooey filling.

  8. I'm being unable to stop the saliva growing in my mouth after seeing these and i totally agree with u... smooth pashminas, couch, cold, and a cup of warm tea, or maybe hot chocolate makes my day... well, it makes my winter :D still sunny here in Portugal, but i'm secretly begging for it to go away :D

  9. @Russell: Thank you so much! They are definitely a stick-to-your mouth brownie :)

    @Carla: Thanks for the kind words, sweetie. :) It hasn't been too cold here yet, either, but I'm ready for it to be gone, too!

  10. How do you get that nice even spread of dulce de leche? I ended up having to essentially mix it in there, it won't look layered like your lovely brownies..

  11. @Cam: I think the trick here is to put spread about 2/3 of the batter into the pan first, so the caramel doesn't have a chance to sink to the bottom of the brownies. Then turn out the entire can of caramel into a bowl and mix it vigorously with a spoon to loosen it up to a good spreading consistency (it's just too firm if it's straight from the can!). Then dollop about 2 tbsp worth of caramel all over the brownies and spread em out. I didn't have a consistent ribbon of caramel throughout, since dulce de leche is so hard to spread evenly, but it didn't mix in to the batter either! Hope that helps at all. Good luck!! :)

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