Rose is able to taste feelings in food, the feelings of whoever has baked it. She comes to hate food and the secrets it divulges, preferring to stick to factory processed pre packaged goods.
It certainly got me thinking. I love to bake at any time, and do, but sometimes I use baking when I am stressed or busy as a way to calm down. Yesterday I had one of those days where lots of little things were all going wrong (it all started when I broke my favourite mug) and I just wanted to go home and comfort bake. Brownies, with their chocolatey rich indulgence, are a perfect comfort bake.
When Rose tries brownies a character in the book has baked she immediately knows that they are depressed. Now I was not that bad but I imagine Rose would find mine 'busy' 'conflicted' 'tired' and maybe a little 'upset'. Ugh they do not sound pleasant.
Thankfully I and my boyfriend do not possess any such tasting talent. Mark declared them delicious and I have to say I am inclined to agree. And, with a cup of tea and the Great British Bake Off, they were medicinal in their ability to boost my mood!
Salted caramel brownies
makes ~16, depending on what size you cut them
for the caramel
80g caster sugar
75ml double cream
sea salt, taste
For the brownie
200g dark chocolate
50g groundnut oil
250g caster sugar
130g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 170C/150C FAN. Grease and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
First make the caramel, gently heat the sugar in a saucepan until melted, you can swirl the pan but do not stir. Allow it to become a golden brown and then remove from the heat. Immediately add in the double cream, it will bubble up quite violently, and stir well. Put the pan back over a low heat and gently warm until thickened slightly, it should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and sea salt, add the salt a little at a time, tasting as you go. Set aside while you make the brownie mix.
Place the butter, oil and chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Allow to melt, stirring from time to time. When fully melted remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the sugar until full incorporated. Next stir in the flour until no more remains visible. Finally add the eggs one at time and stir until fully combined.
Pour half the brownie mix into the prepared pan and level out with a spatula, or the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the caramel in an even ish layer. Nb this is not a thick separate layer of caramel, instead a substantial swirly throughout the centre.
Pour the rest of the batter over, making sure all the caramel is covered.
Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes until flaky on top but not overcooked, you want a nice fudgey centre! Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for at least an hour this will make removal much easier.
|A little bit of caramel tries to escape!|