I bake this recipe more than any other – for birthdays, special occasions, picnics, to take as a present when someone has invited me to dinner, as a pudding with ice-cream or bagged up in little cellophane bags for guests to take home after a dinner party. They are my absolute favourite and I am yet to find someone who doesn’t also love them.
Sometimes I make the caramel from scratch but more often I don’t, so I haven’t included the recipe for that here. If you are not a fan of caramel, then feel free to omit and perhaps add some chocolate chunks or nuts instead.
These are originally based on a recipe I found on BBC Recipes, but I have adapted the method and some of the ingredients over the many years I have made them.
220g soft light brown sugar
150g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g Bournville chocolate
150g salted butter
180g plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like Bournville)
Pinch of sea salt
1 can Carnation caramel
Makes 16-20, depending on how big you slice them
Grease and line a baking tray (I use one measuring 32cm x 23cm) with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put both sugars, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until combined.
Put the Bournville and butter in a bowl and melt together in the microwave in 10 second bursts.
Once melted, allow to cool for a few moments and then stir into the eggs and sugar mixture.
Once combined add the flour, cocoa powder and salt…
…and mix in until no pockets of flour remain.
Pour half of the batter into the greased and lined baking tray.
Use a cutlery knife to smooth over so you have an even layer.
Then, using a spoon, gently spread the caramel over the batter. This can be quite fiddly as you want to try and keep two distinct layers, rather than mixing the caramel into the brownie batter. I find the best approach is to place very small dollops over the batter and spread those together with a knife or spoon.
Once you are happy with your layer of caramel, pile on the remaining brownie batter…
…and spread using a knife. Do this gently as you don’t want the caramel layer exposed.
Bake for about 30 minutes – I only give a rough time here because ovens vary so much and even though I usually cook these in the same oven, each batch ends up having a slightly different cooking time. I would start checking on them from about 25 minutes, and keep checking every few minutes or so until they are done.
You know it’s time to take them out when the brownies have a thin crust on the top and are only just set. They should be slightly under as they will continue to cook in the tin once out of the oven.
Leave to cool for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and cut into slices.
You won’t eat anything better!