These rich, indulgent Small Batch Brownies filled with luscious caramel sauce will knock your socks off with how good they are. Decadent, fudgy, rich brownies stuffed with the most incredible homemade caramel sauce are an incredible treat to enjoy.
Heat the sugar until it melts. In a high-sided non-stick saucepan, heat the sugar over low heat, stirring often. It will go lumpy, but slowly those lumps will melt away into a liquid that will slowly turn golden. Once the sugar is in liquid form, stop stirring and swirl the liquid sugar while the colour changes to a lovely amber colour. Keep an eagle eye on it at this stage, as it can turn to burnt sugar very quickly. If the liquid is turning amber, but there are still lumps of sugar, then take the pan off the heat and keep swirling the liquid to give a chance for those lumps to melt.
Add the butter. Carefully add the butter in one go. It will bubble up but whisk continuously until it has thoroughly melted. Then remove from the heat.
Add the cream. Pour in the cream, but be careful as it will bubble up again, but keep whisking, and the bubbling will die down. Please return it to medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, so that the caramel can thicken. This takes around 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly to combine.For the brownie recipe, you'll need 80g/¼ cup plus extra for drizzling. Pour this amount into a bowl and set it aside to cool for 10 minutes then refrigerate to speed up the cooling.(The remaining caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.)
Freeze the brownie caramel. Cut yourself a piece of parchment paper. If you need to, quickly mark with a pen around the outer edges of your baking pan. This ensures you spread the caramel to the right length. (Helps me anyway!) Lightly grease the baking paper. Dollop the caramel onto the paper and smooth it out with the back of the spoon. You don't want to make it too thin. Place the paper in the fridge for 30 minutes minimum. Longer if possible.
Make the brownies
Prep the pan and preheat the oven. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla extract and salt (to taste), and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease with butter and line a 2lb 23cmx14cm (9x5.5inch) baking pan with parchment paper. Leave an overhang on the sides so that it makes it easier to lift the brownies out afterwards.
Melt butter and chocolate, then add in the sugar. Set a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Place the chocolate and butter into the bowl and stir until melted. Alternatively, place in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 10-second intervals stirring between bursts until melted. With the bowl still set over the water, add the white and light brown sugar to the chocolate and stir for a minute
Add eggs. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture and using hand-held electric beaters, beat n medium to high for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened and aerated. When the beaters are lifted out of the mixture the mixture should form a ribbon on the surface.
Sift in the dry ingredients. Sift into the bowl the flour, cocoa powder and salt and fold through until a few streaks remain. This makes sure that you won't overmix it.
Add brownie batter and caramel to the pan and bake. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth flat with an offset spatula. Remove the parchment paper with the caramel from the freezer and peel off the paper. Lay the frozen caramel onto the batter. (If using unfrozen caramel then drizzle the caramel over the batter.) Spoon the remaining batter over the top of the caramel and smooth with an offset spatula.
Bake brownies for 22-25 minutes until set around the edges but jiggly in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Use the parchment paper sling to gently lift the brownie out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool before cutting. Drizzle with remaining caramel over the brownies and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. (If the caramel is too stiff to pour, then microwave to heat it slightly to loosen it). Serve warm or refrigerate for 1 hour to get clean slices when cut.
Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.To store: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.To Freeze: Brownies freeze for up to 3 months. Freeze individual brownie squares or slices wrapped in parchment paper and placed in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temp or microwave to warm before serving.To double this recipe: Double all the ingredients and bake according to the instructions. Use a 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan to bake the brownies in.Caramel Sauce: I have a comprehensive post with lots of process images and instructions to make Caramel SauceTIP 1: Freeze the caramel. I love to visibly see and taste the caramel when I bite into it. The sure-fire way to achieve this is to freeze the layer before laying it in the brownie. An optional step, but totally worth it in my opinion.TIP 2: Use a paper sling in the pan. There is nothing worse than going to unmould your brownie and it getting stuck in the base of the pan. The easiest and best way to prevent this is by allowing the paper to overhang the pan and using it as a sling to lift the brownies with. Use this tip for all your bars and brownies.TIP 3: Aerate the mixture. For the sugar to dissolve and eggs to aerate, you need to beat the mixture for a decent amount of time. You'll know it's ready when you lift out the beaters and a ribbon of batter runs off. You'll achieve the crispy shiny top with this technique.TIP 4: Don't overbake. The outside edges of the brownies need to be set but when you gently shake the pan there has to be a slight jiggle in the centre. The brownies will continue to bake when out of the oven.TIP 5: For neat slices/squares: Refrigerate the brownie for one hour or more. Then cut into slices – the brownies will have much cleaner edges.https://emmaduckworthbakes.co.uk/salted-caramel-sauce/