Yes, you heard me.
Slutty. Nutty. Brownies.
I think it’s kinda catchy. And naughty.
But the recipe was created for a dear friend of mine who is neither slutty nor nutty. Actually, she is a *wee* bit naughty.
But Salted Caramel is her passion (as well as her three fabulous kids, Northern Soul and accessories.) She is also know for her occasional indulgence in Reese’s Pieces.
She recently invited my three kids and I to stay at her house for the weekend. We hadn’t seen each other in twenty years and the two sets of kids had never even met. Yet, we had a throughly enjoyable weekend of catching up and getting to know each other; drinking lovely wine and eating great food; and rummaging at the biggest car boot sale I’ve ever seen. When we left, it felt as though the weekend hadn’t been long enough, but we were so very glad of the time we had spent together.
Needless to say, I wished to express my thanks to her and her partner for having us all to stay, and I thought there was no better way than with some home made brownies. But I wanted to come up with something different, something that she would *love* and that contained her two favourite flavours. And the recipe for Slutty Nutty Brownies came to me in a flash and off to the supermarket I went to buy the necessary ingredients.
The recipe is based on my all time favourite brownie recipe by Nigel Slater but has been tweaked a little, and a few additions made.
Whilst the butter and sugar were being creamed in my mixer I melted the dark chocolate.
And I shall make an admission to you now: I don’t always buy super fancy schmancy dark chocolate for baking. Often, the supermarket’s own is really good (and often has a higher cocoa content than Bourneville.)
In the original recipe, Nigel recommends adding 50g dark chocolate chunk. When I normally make his recipe I use white chocolate chunks. In this recipe I broke up two bars (60g) of Caramac chocolate. I figured, in for a caramel penny; in for a caramel pound.
I also used the shortcut in the BBC Good Food’s recent Salted Caramel Brownie recipe by using Carnation’s Caramel and simply adding sea salt. By all means make your own caramel (as I did the first time I made the Good Food recipe) but I was short of time and knew this tasted great.
And so on to the peanuts. I used smooth peanut butter but it really is a matter of preference. I also chopped the peanuts for the top of the brownies. If you prefer them chunkier then leave them be. If you fancy toasting them first, then be my guest.
When it came to assembling this sweet and nutty confection, I put half of the brownie batter in the tin before dolloping the peanut butter and swirling half of the salted caramel over it, then (very carefully) placing the rest of the batter on top and spreading as evenly as possible.
Lastly, the other half of the caramel was swirled into the batter before being embellished with the peanuts and thrown in the oven.
300g Golden Caster Sugar (but worry not if you only have regular)
250g Butter (softened)
200g Dark Chocolate
3 Large Eggs
60g Plain Flour
60g Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
175g Caramel (I use the Carnation tinned caramel)
100g Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy: the choice is yours)
20-30g Unsalted Peanuts (chopped/toasted if you like)
- Line an 8” square baking tin (I use a silicone one for my brownies but still line it: it makes it easier to lift them out) and heat the oven to 180C (160C fan).
- Set the 200g of dark chocolate to melt over a simmering pan of water, being careful not to allow the water to boil or to touch the bottom of the bowl that the chocolate is in. Whilst the chocolate is melting cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Once melted, take the chocolate off the heat.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together.
- Lightly whisk the eggs together and add them in three of four batches to the creamed sugar and butter mixture, alternating with the flour mixture, until all are incorporated.
- Mix in the melted chocolate by hand, then the chopped Caramac bar.
- Now add the sea salt to the caramel and mix well. Put the peanut butter in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it a little if it feels stiff.
- Put half of the brownie batter in the tin and spread evenly to the edges. Then, using a teaspoon, place small quantities of the peanut butter all over the batter in the tin, as evenly as possible. Now swirl half of the salted caramel in between the peanut butter. Put the rest of the brownie batter on top of the peanut butter and caramel. This will be tricky, so spoon it in small quantities, then spread it evenly, whilst trying not to disturb the peanut butter and caramel below. Lastly, swirl the rest of the salted caramel on to the top of the brownies and scatter over the peanuts.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Even after this time, although the top of the brownies will have a thin crust, the whole thing will have a wobble, and that is because of the layer of peanut butter and caramel. Fear not! It will all firm up a little upon cooling.
- Leave them to cool completely before attempting to cut them (16 makes for a good size) and even an hour in the fridge to firm them up enough for easy cutting (but remember to bring them back to room temperature before serving.)
But, be warned, these are super moist and squidgy brownies. I am not a cake brownie person. Nor am I a solid fudge-like brownie person. I like super moist, soft and squidgy brownies. These brownies are exactly that with the addition of peanut butter and salted caramel.
And we are back to their name. The “Slutty” is because of the unashamedly naughty, sweet and salty caramel, that tastes so good but feels a little wicked. The “Nutty” is, well, pretty obviously the peanut butter. Humour me, people!
So, this is the first recipe of my own that I have posted on my bog and I hope that some of you will make these brownies one day, or adapt it to your own tastes. And, if you do make them, please let me know how you got on and if you liked them.