In this weekend’s gazette, the newspaper published an article about the best foodie movies. I’ve seen a few of the ones mentioned, such as the German film Mostly Martha, the blog-inspired Julie & Julia, Ratatouille, and Marie-Antoinette. Sofia Coppola’s opulent period piece might seem like an odd choice, but the director’s colour scheme for the movie was inspired by Parisian bakery Ladurée’s famous pastel macarons. The journalist also wrote about Ang Lee’s Mandarin film Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, as well as the film Babette’s Feast, Stanley Tucci’s labour of love Big Night, Mexican film Like Water for Chocolate, and the controversial The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Sounds like I have a feast of foodie movies to catch up on! Do you have a favourite foodie movie? As a chocoholic, my choice is pretty obvious. I love Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
After decorating the antique caramel cake, I still had quite a bit of sweet and salty caramel sauce left. Of course, I can count on the boys at Baked to solve my dilemma. Their recipe for these sweet and salty caramel brownies comes from their second book: Baked Explorations. I haven’t purchased it yet (so many other baking books on my shelves still waiting to be tested!), but these brownies caught my eye over on Une Gamine dans la Cuisine’s blog.
These brownies are pure decadence. The chocolate is intense while the sweet and salty caramel subtly adds depth to the dessert. The brownies are dense, rich and fudgy. Others raved about these brownies, and I love them too, but I would make a small change to them. Next time I might omit the finishing touch of coarse sea salt and sugar. It was a bit too salty for me.
Yields 12 portions
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%, I used 70%)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Sweet and salty caramel sauce
1) Preheat the oven to 350F.
2) Butter a 9×13-inch glass baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
3) Whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
4) Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
5) Once the chocolate and butter are well combined, turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the pot. Add both sugars and whisk until well incorporated.
6) Remove the bowl from the pot. When mixture is at room temperature, add 3 eggs and whisk until just combined.
7) Add 2 more eggs and whisk until just combined.
8) Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter or else the brownies will be cakey.
9) Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour mixture.
10) Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.
11) Spread a layer of sweet and salty caramel sauce on top. Do not let the caramel come into contact with the edges, or it will burn.
12) Pour the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel. Make sure the caramel is covered.
13) Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs. My brownies stayed in the oven for 35 minutes.
14) Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar as a finishing touch on the brownies.
15) Let the brownies cool completely before slicing.
Wrap the brownies in plastic and keep them for up to 4 days.