Salted Turtle Espresso Brownies
– makes 1 “spinster dish” full. About 1/2 a cake pan size. Feel free to multiply as needed.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, cut small or in chip form
1/2 stick butter, browned
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp espresso powder, plus more for sprinkling (you could use up to 2 tablespoons if you really dig on espresso)
1/3 cup flour
heavy pinch salt
1/2 cup nuts o’ your choice
Preheat oven to 325. Butter your baking vessel.
Whip eggs and sugar together until thick, pale, and ribbony. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, brown butter in pan. Combine with chocolate to melt. Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate mixture into eggs, slowly. Don’t want to cook your eggs.
Stop mixer and proceed by hand. Add vanilla. Add espresso powder. Add salt. Stir.
Carefully, fold in flour. Fold in nuts. Spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle with espresso powder.
Bake at 325 for 25ish minutes (depends on the thickness of brownie/size o’ pan). Really, bake until a toothpick comes out moist but not runny. The chocolate clinging to the toothpick should be able to be rolled into a ball. Also the sides will probably have pulled slightly away from the sides.
Check it at 25 minutes though. These brownies are formulated to be a bit gooey even when set up.
Let the brownies to cool a bit while you prepare the caramel.
1/2 cup sugar coarse flake sea salt
Pour sugar in a pan. Put pan on high heat. Whisk until the sugar melts, and starts to darken. Turn off the heat when the sugar is a couple shades lighter than you want, as it will continue to cook and darken off heat. If there is still undissolved sugar in there, keep whisking until they are dissolved. Sprinkle liberally with large flake salt. Drizzle over brownies while the caramel is still warm.
This will set up to a crunchy caramel to be the “shell”. If you don’t want that, whisk in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of butter before adding the salt. It’s best if those ingredients are room temp so your sugar doesn’t seize. Even if it does, no worries. Just turn heat on low and continue whisking until everything melts together. Then the caramel will remain saucy.
One small brownie bite is enough as this is very rich. If you dripped caramel over the sides of your serving dish as I did (which is why it’s a good idea to put a plate underneath), gently scrape to get the hardened caramel off as intact as possible and use as garnish. Can also be garnished with another sprinkling of espresso powder.