10 Apr 2014

Caramel Pretzel Brownies

This is a message in a bottle.
Call it a cathartic blog post.
I have to put it out there: Great Britain has plug socket issues. 

Firstly, for sure on/off switches on the sockets are great at preventing any toddlers from getting hurt if they stick their tiny fingers in the plug holes. But, as long as you don't have a child at home, what's the point of turning the plugs off everytime you leave the room?

"It's hazard protection" says the British Man. 
Well, surprisingly in my country, we don't have switches on our plug sockets and hardly anybody dies from sticking their fingers or being electrocuted by their TV by accident.

Secondly, how are we ladies, supposed to dry our hair in a country where it's considered highly dangerous to equip bathrooms with plug sockets?
"Of course nobody would build a house with sockets in a room that has a bath and sink" says the Man, looking at me like I'm some kind of lunatic.

As hard as it is to believe, my people tend to remember to step out of their bath before drying their hair (apart from a certain Claude François, maybe).
Great Britain, I love you, I truly do, but your plug sockets (or absence of them), drives me insane.

brownies with caramelized pretzel crust recipe

Salted Caramel Pretzel 

I adapted this recipe from the How sweet it is, one of my favourite blogs, which I admire because Jessica's recipes look both evil and delicious, and also because of her beautiful photos.
The brownies are so good they would be amazing on their own, but the pretzel crust (which I adapted to caramelise it) takes them one step further, much further.

Sweet and salty sounds like one of the biggest trends of the moment in baking, and lots of US bloggers add pretzels to cakes and biscuits these days, and I have to say that it totally does it for me. The sprinkles of salt on the pretzels works wonderfully at enhancing the flavours of both the caramel and the chocolate. 

If I had to choose to only eat one chocolate cake for the rest of my life, it could very well be this one.

makes about 12 bars
For the brownies: 
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar + 1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
For the pretzel crust:
1 3/4 cups crushed pretzel pieces
2 tbsp golden syrup 
40g unsalted butter melted

Preparation of the salted caramel bretzel brownies

1/ Preheat oven to 180degC. 

2/ Grease and flour rectangular/ square baking dish and set aside.

3/ Melt the butter and the golden dyrup in a small pan over low heat or a bowl in the microwave and mix to combine. 

4/ Combine melted butter, golden syrup and pretzel crumbs in a bowl until moistened. With the back of a spoon, press pretzels into the cake tin pan making a crust. If pretzels seem loose, drizzle some additional melted butter over the top.

5/ In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Add in cocoa, flour and salt, mixing until combined. Using a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray, evenly spread brownies dough on top of the pretzel crust. 

6/ Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies are baked through.

7/ Refrigerate brownies for 1-2 hours, then cut into bars and serve. 

Brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days

Brownies with caramelized pretzel crust recipe

brownies with caramelized pretzel crust recipe

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