Peanut Caramel Topped Brownies
Bakers who have been baking along Tuesdays with Dorie should be able to identify this cake straight away. This cake/ brownie just looks so strikingly different with bold whole caramel peanuts strewn over the top as topping. Quite frankly, i don’t think i have come across any other cake that looked like this.
Well, maybe my re-creation of this cake is not 100% accurate. You see, the caramel was supposed to flow down the sides of the cake as it was drizzled over the top in its semi molten state.
But i knew i was bringing this to work, and really, i would do much better if i didn’t have to deal with all the gooey, sticky caramel-ey mess no matter how delicious it promised to be. So i cooked the caramel a lil further, and let it cool a bit to set before i spooned the peanuts onto the cake.
Now, that looks pretty neat and orderly. I was actually quite glad i was able to coax the peanut/caramel combo into staying on top of the cake instead of having them slide down the sides.
Now, lets get a closer look at that complying topping. This topping is part crunchy from the peanuts, and part chewy from the caramel and ALL awesome.
Peanuts (apart from peanut butter) are probably the least used nuts in the baking world. I’ve seen recipes calling for walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc, but only a couple that call for peanuts. But despite being underrated, the peanuts really showed the world a thing or two here.
Now lets get on to the brownie part shall we?
This brownie was cake like, soft and moist. It was lighter than most brownies, which complemented the topping rather well. A dense fudgy brownie would probably have made this dessert too cloyingly rich. The brownie was also very easily put together involving just a few simple whisking. There is no need to pull out your heavy machineries here. Pheww!
The brownie rose pretty well too, almost reaching to the brim of my springform. That’s quite an achievement for a cake batter that didnt require any beating. I also liked the spongy texture of the brownie that probably resulted from all that rising.
On a lil side note though, while the caramel didn’t leave its trails in a sticky mess this time, i would probably want that the next time if i were to bake it again. While this semi hardened caramel was good. I think the original chewy, sticky, gooey would be better. Just saying. :)
While i have a copy of Baking From My Home to Yours on my bedstand, i couldnt resist but hit the print button for the recipe from The Curvy Carrot who happened to have baked this recently. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to lugging the book to my kitchen have even more undesirable stains on the poor book! So here goes!
Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake (Recipe taken from The Curvy Carrot) thanks so much for sharingg!
For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped **(I just used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips….oh Ghiradelli…..sigh….)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 and 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup salted peanuts
1. For the cake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter an 8-inch round springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.
3. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
5. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.
6. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted.
7. Remove the bowl from the heat.
8. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together until well blended.
9. Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla.
10. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.
11. Still working with a whisk, gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
12. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread until even.
13. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean.
14. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the cake for 15 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the pan and remove the sides of the pan. Cool the cake to room temperature.
15. When the cake is completely cool, invert it, remove the base of the pan and peel off the paper. Wash and dry the springform pan, and return the cake to it right-side up. Refasten the sides.
16. For the topping: Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients, and put the pan over medium-high heat on the stove.
17. Heat, without stirring, until the caramel turns deep amber (mine was the color of light beer….test it on a white plate if you are unsure), about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on your stove and pan). As the sugar is caramelizing, wipe down any splatters on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
18. Lower the heat a bit, and standing back from the saucepan, add the cream and butter. (BE CAREFUL…IT IS HOT AND WILL BUBBLE AGGRESSIVELY.)
19. When the caramel calms down a bit, stir to dissolve any lumps.
20. Add the peanuts and stir. Transfer the hot mixture to a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or a heat-proof bowl.
21. Spoon the peanuts over the top of the cake, and then pour enough caramel to cover the peanuts and top of cake completely. You may have leftover caramel.
22. Allow the topping to set at room temperature about 20 minutes or so.
23. When ready to serve, run a blunt knife around the edge of the springform pan and remove the sides.
Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.