Some recipes really don't need much of an introduction, and I feel like this is one such recipe. Super-dark chocolate, rich salted caramel, and crunchy toasted walnuts: you'll know if that's a combination you're into. If you are- well, just make the brownies. Then we'll talk more.
Salted Caramel and Walnut Brownies
Makes: one batch (about 15 brownies)
Preparation time: about 1 hour 30 minutes
For the brownies...
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
250g vegan butter
250g caster sugar
3 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
120g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp ground sea salt
For the caramel...
100g caster sugar
50g vegan butter
4 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt (or more, to taste)
1./ First make the caramel. Put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over a medium heat. Leave to caramelise until you get an even brown colour- somewhere between golden and conker-brown. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter, then the cream and the salt; make sure everything is well-mixed, then pour out the mixture into a dish. Put this in the fridge for 30-40 minutes, then start getting on with the next step.
2./ Grease and line a 7-inch square baking tin and preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (adjust accordingly if your oven runs hot or cold).
3./ Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water); stir every now and then. Meanwhile, pop the walnuts onto a baking tray and toast for 3-4 minutes in the oven. Set both the walnuts and the melted chocolate aside.
4./ Add the ground flax seeds to a small mixing bowl along with 130ml of water.
5./ In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar; an electric whisk or stand mixer is good for this, but you can also use a hand whisk and some elbow grease! Add in the flax-water mixture, a bit at a time, beating as you do. Then stir in the melted chocolate, then the vanilla, the flour, the baking powder, and the salt, making sure each ingredient is well-incorporated before adding the next.
6./ Tip out the brownie mixture into your lined tin, and dot with nice big blobs of the salted caramel. Using a knife, swirl the batter and the caramel together a bit, then scatter the toasted walnuts on top.
7./ Place into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. When they're done they'll be firmish, and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out mostly clean. Place onto a cooling rack in a cold place and leave to cool before slicing.
Until next time...