Brown Sugar Brownies with French Sea Salt

Time for a chocolate fix

Every once in a while, my sluggish sweet tooth wakes up and reminds me it’s time for a hit of chocolate. I suspect it has a little bit to do with the dew point, the Dow Jones average, Tony Soprano’s anxiety level and the price of tea in China. When certain things line up a particular way, well, watch out. I’ll be on the prowl for chocolate.

It’s a good thing I have a stash on hand for just those moments. It makes it so easy to wander into the kitchen and mix up a pan of deep, dark, moist chocolate brownies.

I strayed from a basic brownie batter by using some brown sugar and fancy fleur de sel because I wanted to intensify the flavors. But now I’m thinking I should have used some of the salt to sprinkle over the top of the ganache icing, to really point up the flavor. Yes! In fact, that’s what you should do if you happen to make these.

Update:
Fellow blogger Myriam at Once Upon a Tart is hosting Brownie Babe of the Month – check out her round-up of delicious brownies from the blogosphere….

Brown Sugar Brownies with Fancy French Sea Salt
makes about 16 bars

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaked sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a sheet of overhanging parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in 8 ounces of the chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with vanilla and the two sugars. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Fold in the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just to incorporate.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes, or until edges are firm and center is still slightly soft. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Remove brownie in one slab and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.

Place the cream in a heatproof glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 – 40 seconds. Pour over the remaining chocolate in a small bowl and let sit 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup and stir until completely melted and smooth.

Set brownie slab on a rack over a large piece of parchment or waxed paper. Pour ganache over the center of the slab and gently spread to the sides. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over the top. Let set about 1 hour before slicing into bars – use a knife that has been heated under hot running water, wiping the blade clean after each cut.

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