Kitchen confession #308: Today I made chocolate mousse. When I had finished piping the mousse into all the glasses, I placed the piping tip into my mouth and piped the leftover mousse in my mouth, swallowing continuously so I could continue the flow of mousse. Then I put my hand right into the top of the piping bag and just licked what I could from my hand. Then when Maths dude got home I told him what I had done: the adult equivalent of drawing on the walls or burying the TV remote in the back yard.
It’s an eggless, four-ingredient, basically instant mousse recipe that I can’t wait to make again and share with you! It will make you want to do the same thing.
Chocolate mousse is delicious, but I suppose you came here for the brownies. These brownies are everything (I think) a brownie should be: dense, fudgy, rich, bittersweet. I think you’re going to love them. The plain batter itself is a wonderful canvas, but the addition of pecans makes them a little more interesting, and the layer of dark salted caramel on top is kind of next level. Again, you could make them minus the pecans and caramel and they’d still be yummmmoooo.
These brownies are extra special because I made them for my training buddy Jelena’s birthday! She’s a gal who trains hard and lifts heavy things, but she also knows when to fill her face with salted caramel brownies. So on the weekend, after we finished our TRX rows and squats and other painful things that our PT, Thiago, makes us do with his various torture devices, we finally sat down and passed around a container full of these. Saturday mornings spent with this gang mean so much more to me than just working out. They happen to be awesome, talented and supportive people who I am constantly learning from… as well as healthy, fit people who I’m sure don’t eat cake anywhere near as often as I do.
When eating one of these brownies you have to just not think about the calories and GO ALL IN. It’s the only way, folks. Get it into your face.
The last picture shows you how they slice up after being refrigerated overnight!
- 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 115g caster sugar
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 80g plain flour
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 200g dark chocolate (70% or more)
- 115g pecans, roughly chopped
- 3½ tbsp caster sugar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 4 tbsp thin cream
- hefty pinch of flaky salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin with foil, and grease the foil.
- Whisk the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla essence and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture, and fold using a spatula until combined.
- Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over the lowest heat possible (or place the chocolate in a glass, heatproof bowl over the saucepan, or use the microwave. Whichever method works for you).
- Add the melted chocolate to the batter, and fold until just combined.
- Fold through most of the pecans, reserving some for sprinkling over the top.
- Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the remaining pecans.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just cooked all the way through or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the sugar and the water. Swirl the pan from time to time. After a minute or two the water will begin to evaporate and the sugar will dissolve. Continue to swirl the mixture as it takes on a browner colour. Once it is dark golden, add the butter, cream and salt, but be careful as the mixture will be extremely hot and can bubble up. Swirl for another 30 seconds or so.
- Take the sauce off the heat, and at this stage you can stir it using a small spatula. As it cools, it will continue to thicken slightly.
- Drizzle the salted caramel all over the top of the brownie slab. Once slightly cooled, I like to place it in the refrigerator. It makes for nice, clean slices when you go to cut the brownies up.