Fudgy Brownies with Salted Caramel and Peanuts

Fudgy Brownies with Salted Caramel and Peanuts

Posted on March 29, 2021

Recipe borrowed from Nadiya Hussain (brownies) and Adriano Zumbo (caramel) and modified.

If you are a snickers chocolate bar lover, these brownies will become your favorite!! And actually, the snickers bar was the motive for these brownies! I was searching and trying different recipes and finally I got it! These brownies contain all the flavour and texture that I wanted! Fudge and chocolatey brownies covered with a creamy, chewy, salted caramel filled with roasted and crunchy peanuts! The ultimate sweet for my chocolate cravings! Definitely, these brownies are far away from a healthy, low-fat dessert, but once a while everyone can enjoy an indulgent one! Try it and let me know!

A month ago I wanted desperately to eat a brownie, that tastes like the snickers chocolate bar! That means: chocolate, caramel and salted peanuts! The procedure was straightforward: I started search on Pinterest for "Snickers Brownies". I came out with some I would like, but no one gave me the wanted result. So after a while I gave up trying ... until the new show of Nadiya Hussain, Nadiya Bakes, was released on Netflix. With the first chance I watched it of course and in the episode "Baking with Chocolate", Nadiya Hussain presents the recipe of her favorite brownie: a bottom layer of brownies topped with a layer of caramel and hazelnuts and finally an orange cheesecake layer. It sounds amazing, I know, but at that exact time, while I was watching this recipe, my dreamy snickers brownie came into my mind! I kept the brownie layer recipe, I salted the caramel, I replaced the hazelnuts with peanuts and dropped the cheesecake layer (only in order to achieve my goal of course). And one more final touch, Nadiya Hussain uses dulce de leche for the caramel layer, but I wanted the proper caramel with butter so I used the one that Adriano Zumbo uses as caramel mouse in his Cirque de Zumbo cake. And this how I started making my ultimate snickers brownie, that I was dreaming for so long! And once I tasted it, my reaction was: "YEAH!! that is exactly what I was aimed for!!", and now I am sharing the recipe step-by-step with you.

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This brownie consists of two layers: a fudge, chocolatey brownie and a layer of salted caramel with roasted peanuts pieces. For the brownie, I could have make my ultimate chocolate brownie recipe, but mine is more moist and less dense than the one from Nadiya Hussain, which has the proper texture that matches perfectly with the caramel-nuts layer.

Additionally, as I referred in the beginning, the original recipe from Nadiya Hussain uses dulce de leche for caramel. This is boiled sweetened condensed milk until it becomes caramel. It tastes great, but I preferred the original caramel sauce made with sugar and butter. In order to achieve a chewy texture to the caramel sauce when it is cold, gelatine leaves are added into it while it is cooking.

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The choice about the caramel really depends on taste, on how much time you have and on the effort you want to give. On the one hand dulce de leche can be bought ready from the grocery store and it is ready to use but on the other hand caramel rewards you with its timeless favourite taste! In case you choose to use dulce de leche, you can either buy it ready from the grocery store or you can make your own by boiling sweetened condensed milk . In a big saucepan, place one or more closed cans with sweetened condensed milk and make sure that the boiling water covers all the cans. Simmer for 3 hours making sure that the water covers the whole time all the cans. Remove the cans from the saucepan and let them cool completely before using. Store in a dark and dry until the expiration date of written on the can. When ready to use, remove from the can and heat it in a saucepan or in the microwave to get a more liquid texture that makes it easier to work with it.

The first step it to bake the chocolate brownie. This brownie recipe, is not the most easy nor single bowl recipe. Instead it needs an electric mixer for beating well the eggs along with the sugar to get very fluffy. This way the brownies get very fudge!

Start by adding the chocolate and the butter in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt the chocolate and the butter, while stirring with a rubber spatula occasionally.

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Meanwhile dissolve the instant coffee along with a small portion of hot water. Once the chocolate-butter mixture has been melted, is smooth and shiny remove from heat. Incorporate the coffee and stir well and let cool at room temperature. If you do not have instant coffee, you can simple prepare an espresso and let your espresso machine to shot only for 2"-3", in order to get a really concentrated coffee. Coffee aims to enhance and highlight the chocolate flavor in the brownies. Do not worry, your brownies will not taste like coffee. However, if for any reason you want to avoid coffee, just skip it and instead add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract on the next step into the egg and sugar mixture.

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While waiting your chocolate mixture to cool down, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat on medium-high the eggs along with the sugar, until tripled in size, light, thick and fluffy. Pour the melted and cooled chocolate-butter-coffee mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and whisk in medium speed until incorporate. If needed scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and give a good stir.

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In a separate bowl sift and whisk the flour, the cocoa and the salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Mix only until combined and make sure not to over mix the batter, otherwise you will end up with tough brownies.

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In a small bowl stir the chocolate chips with one teaspoon of all purpose flour until all chips are covered with flour. This will prevent the chocolate chips to sink in the bottom of the brownie, while baking. Gently fold the floured chocolate chips into the brownie butter mixture using a spatula.

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Pour the brownies mixture into a pre-lined or grazed 20cm (8 inch) square pan and flatten it using an offset spatula. You may tap the pan on a flat surface once or two. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) fan forced on a wire rack placed in the middle. Prepare a square pan 20cm (8 inch) with parchment paper, butter it or spray it with non-stick spray. Bake the brownies for 20' or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

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Once baked, remove the brownie from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to let it cool completely. Do not remove the brownies from the pan, the caramel-peanuts layer is going to be added!

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Now it is time for the caramel with peanuts! The first step is to roast the peanuts. Roasted peanuts have a more tense flavour and aroma. I use unsalted and unroasted peanuts and I prefer to roast them at home. Place the peanuts on a pre-lined pan and make sure to spread them in order not touching each other, Roast them in preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) fan forced for 10' - 15'. Remove from the oven and let them cool down completely. Once the peanuts have cooled down completely, pulse them a little bit if you like it to. If you want, you can make this step a day or even many days before. If so, store the cooled peanuts in an airtight container and place it in a dry and dark place.

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For the caramel the first step it to soak the gelatine leaves. In a small bowl soak the gelatine leaves in the cold water. I usually do not have cold water, nor I remember to place a small amount of water in the refrigerator or in the freezer before making the recipe, in order to make it cold. Therefore, I just stir an ice-cube with one or two tablespoons of tap water and then I can get my cold water. You may have to break the gelatine leaves to make sure that the whole gelatine is in the water, and sometimes I flip it in the meantime, while it is soaking.

Next step is to combine in a saucepan the sugar, the glucose and water and let it head over medium heat for 10'-15' until dark amber color. While the caramel is heating, pour the heavy cream in small saucepan and place it over low heat. The heavy cream should be heated, but not boil. Remove it from the heat once tiny bubbles start to appear at the edges of the cream.

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Once the caramel has dark amber color carefully pour the warm cream into the caramel. Be careful, as it may spit. Stir well and cook until 125°C (257°F), this is about 5'. The caramel should get a creamy and thick texture.

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Remove from the heat and add soaked gelatine along with any liquid, the butter and the salt. Stir well until butter fully dissolved. Carefully taste if more salt is needed (be careful, as it is very hot), adding one pich a time.

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Once you have reached the salted taste you like, stir in the pulsed peanuts.

Pour the hot, salted caramel with peanuts over the cooled brownies and flatten it using a spatula.

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Let it cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to let it chill overnight (or for at least 6 hours). Once chilled remove from the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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For the best experience, remove the brownies from the refrigerator and let it at room temperature for 5' and then serve! Enjoy!

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Fudgy Brownies with Salted Caramel and Peanuts

Fudgy Brownies with Salted Caramel and Peanuts


40'

Preparation Time


overnight chilling

Waiting Time


40' - 50'

Cooking Time


16 brownies

Servings

Ingredients

Fudgy Brownies

  • 250 gr unsalted butter

  • 250 gr dark chocolate

  • 4 medium eggs, at room temperature

  • 150 gr soft dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp instant coffee mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water

  • 120 gr all purpose flour, sifted

  • 30 gr cocoa powder, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 100 gr dark chocolate chips (plus 1 tsp flour)

Salted Caramel with Peanuts

  • 2 gr gelatine leaves (about 1 1/2 leaves)

  • 12 gr cold water

  • 150 gr granulated white sugar

  • 30 gr liquid glucoze

  • 60 gr water, extra

  • 110 gr heavy cream 35%

  • 100 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature cut in pieces

  • 3/4 tsp salt, less or more to taste

  • 150 gr unsalted peanuts

Instructions

Fudgy Brownies

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (350°F) fan forced and place a wire rack in the middle. Prepare a square pan 20cm (8 inch) with parchment paper, butter it or spray it with non-stick spray.

  • In a heat proof bowl add the chocolate and the butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt the chocolate and the butter, while stirring with a rubber spatula occasionally. Once melted, smooth and shiny remove from heat.

  • In a small bowl mix the instant coffee along with 2 teaspoons of warm water and stir it with a spoon until fully dissolved. Pour the coffee in the cooled, melted chocolate-butter mixture and mix well with a spatula. Let cool completely at room temperature.

  • In the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat on medium-high the eggs along with the sugar, until tripled in size, light, thick and fluffy.

  • Pour the melted and cooled chocolate-butter-coffee mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and whisk in medium speed until incorporate. If needed scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and give a good stir.

  • In a separate bowl whisk the flour, the cocoa and the salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Mix only until combined and make sure not to over mix the batter, otherwise you will end up with tough brownies.

  • In a small bowl stir the chocolate chips with one teaspoon of all purpose flour until all chips are covered with flour. This will prevent the chocolate chips to sink in the bottom of the brownie, while baking. Gently fold the floured chocolate chips into the brownie butter mixture using a spatula.

  • Pour the brownies mixture into the prepared pan and flatten it using an offset spatula. You may tap the pan on a flat surface once or two.

  • Bake the brownies for 20' or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

  • Remove from the oven, place the pan on a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely in it. Do not remove the brownies from the pan.

Salted Caramel with Peanuts

  • Line a large oven pan with parchment paper. Spread the peanuts in order not touching each other. Bake them in preheated 180°C (350°F) fan forced for 10'-15'. Remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.

  • Once the peanuts have cooled down completely, pulse them a little bit if you like it to.

  • In a small bowl soak the gelatine leaves in the cold water. Set aside.

  • I a saucepan stir the sugar, the glucose and the extra water. Heat over medium heat for 10'-15' until dark amber color.

  • Meanwhile heat the heavy cream in small saucepan over low heat. Do not let it boil. Remove it from the heat once tiny bubbles start to appear at the edges of the cream.

  • Once the caramel has dark amber color carefully pour the warm cream into the caramel. Be careful, as it may spit. Stir well and cook until 125°C (257°F), this is about 5'. The caramel should get a creamy and thick texture.

  • Remove from the heat and add soaked gelatine along with any liquid, the butter and the salt. Stir well until butter fully dissolved. Carefully taste if more salt is needed (be careful, as it is very hot), adding one pich a time.

  • Once you have reached the salted taste you like, stir in the pulsed peanuts.

  • Pour the hot, salted caramel with peanuts over the cooled brownies and flatten it using a spatula.

  • Let it cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to let it chill overnight (or for at least 6 hours).

  • Once chilled remove from the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • For the best experience, remove the brownies from the refrigerator and let it at room temperature for 5' and then serve! Enjoy!

    Notes

  • In case you want to use dulce de leche instead of caramel you can either buy it ready from the grocery store or you can make your own by boiling sweetened condensed milk . In a big saucepan, place one or more closed cans with sweetened condensed milk and make sure that the boiling water covers all the cans. Simmer for 3 hours making sure that the water covers the whole time all the cans. Remove the cans from the saucepan and let them cool completely before using. Store in a dark and dry until the expiration date of written on the can. When ready to use, open the can and pour it in non-stick pan. Place it over medium-low heat until it becomes more liquid and it is easier to work with it (you can either place it in a heatproof bowl and warm in the microwave). Salt it, stir in the peanuts and pour it over the cooled brownies. Place the brownies in the refrigerator until chilled and the caramel has firmed.

  • If you do not have instant coffee, you can simple prepare an espresso and let your espresso machine to shot only for 2"-3", in order to get a really concentrated coffee. Coffee aims to enhance and highlight the chocolate flavor in the brownies. Do not worry, your brownies will not taste like coffee. However, if for any reason you want to avoid coffee, just skip it and instead add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract while whisking the eggs along with the sugar.

  • We can roast the peanuts few days ago. If so, we store the roasted peanuts in an airtight container in a dry and dark place.

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