I recently took a trip to Charlotte with three of my girlfriends to visit an old co-worker and dear friend. It turned out to be a “girls weekend” that was long overdue, I think!
The weekend revolved around hitting some key spots – Ikea of course, along with some great food finds. One in particular was a french bakery called Amelie’s.
Let me just tell you . . . we walked in, saw the counter in the lobby, and then saw the line that extended into the next room. This place must be good!
One of their specialties was a salted caramel brownie . . . so much so, that there is a number posted in the front of how many have been sold to date.
Therefore, the only natural thing to be done was to recreate said brownies this week. Besides, who doesn’t love salted caramel?
I used my new favorite brownie recipe, from Martha Stewart. In my experience, she has never let me astray. I stumbled upon the recipe because I wanted to make something for a gluten-free friend, and turns out the brownies are to die for. The only change I made was to omit the pecans and cinnamon. Find the recipe here.
They are fudgy and rich and decadent and smell absolutely terrific. If you ever need a chocolate fix, look no further. The fact that the recipe calls for chocolate and cocoa powder is a giveaway that you’re in for something good.
Next, I needed a caramel sauce. Another go-to is Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her blog has inspired me to write, not to mention I get a huge bulk of my dessert recipes from here. Thanks Sally!
The only addition I made to her recipe was that I added vanilla bean paste. What is it, you ask? You get almost the same effect as fresh-scraped-from-the-pod vanilla beans by using this. When in doubt, just use it. It’s like vanilla extract on steroids. Plus it puts pretty little vanilla bean flecks in your desserts. Can’t go wrong there!
Find Sally’s recipe for caramel sauce here.
A word of caution, for those who have never made caramel from scratch . . . at no less than three points in the cooking process, you see you life flash before your eyes. Oh wait, that’s just me. Basically, you are at a risk for burning the caramel (since it can be tricky to get the temperature/cooking time just right) and also your arm. There is a plethora of steam that is produced during the cooking process. Just be careful :).
I finished off the brownies by topping them with the cooled caramel sauce, then liberally sprinkled sea salt on top!
To say these brownies are rich is an understatement, so you may want to pair them with
a glass two glasses a gallon of milk. Enjoy!