Lindt Salted Caramel Brownies – A Small Batch for Greedy Girls!
Every so often I come across a recipe that I know will change my life. In the case of those from Nigella, there’s a huge risk that change will happen and sit comfortably on my hips. Emergency Brownies! the name says it all. Do you sit at home sometimes craving a freshly baked brownie? Knowing that (perhaps) any kids you had have flown the nest you procrastinate. You could freeze them, but your freezer is overflowing with single and two-person portions of chilli, spaghetti bolognese sauce, chicken in red wine or beef casserole. Knowing that a full tray of brownies is just a step too far…
And yet. You have all the ingredients sitting there.
Gentle reader, this is a dangerous moment to discover the concept of an emergency brownie. All those ‘barriers to baking’ that have stopped you making up a tray of 16 brownies vanish in a sprinkling of sugar dust. Nigella’s emergency brownie recipe makes 2 large or 4 small brownies and takes no more than 10 minutes to put together in my experience. After I first tried Nigella’s version which includes walnuts, I tried my own salted caramel riff three times in one week, which is, perhaps, missing the point. But, the glorious thing about making small-batch brownies is that you CAN eat them while they are really fresh.
I’ve been playing around with the basic recipe to create a Christmas version using Lindt Lindor salted caramel truffles and some Christmas spice. As a bonus, the recipe uses just four Lindor – leaving enough for later or for a second batch. If you do get greedy and try to fit in six of those chocolate caramel mouthfuls of deliciousness you’ll find that you end up with a much gooier result – still fabulous but more suitable as a dessert. Yes…I tried.
Now, I don’t have the right size foil tray that Nigella suggests – but I’ve discovered I can bake the recipe perfectly in my smallest cast iron skillet. Instead of square brownies, I get cake-like wedges – but it’s the perfect solution if, like me, you get addicted to small-batch brownie baking. It’s all too easy to start making lunch or dinner, put my savoury dish on to cook and mix up a small batch of brownies while that’s happening. They take about 15 minutes to bake to perfection in a skillet – so they come out of the oven just in time for dessert.
Almost all of the ingredients that are needed are store cupboard/fridge staples for me. That’s another reason why this brownie recipe is just a dangerous find.
If you’d like to try for yourself, here’s the adapted version of the original Nigella recipe I’ve been using.
Small Batch Brownies with Salted Caramel
- 1 large egg
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 50 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey the original recipe asks for golden syrup, but I didn't have any
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tbs cinnamon
- 50 g dark chocolate chips
- 4-6 salted caramel Lindt Lindor balls
- 1 tsp icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)
Melt the butter, honey and sugar together in a small pan over a low heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium-sized bowl
Add the melted butter mixture to the bowl and beat with a wooden spoon till smooth
Whisk the egg with the vanilla
Once the flour/chocolate mixture has cooled a little, beat the egg into the mixture
Stir through the chocolate chips
Line your skillet or baking tray if you want to remove the brownies easily. Or you can eat the skillet version straight from the pan for dessert if you like!
Pour in the mixture, keeping it reasonably level, then place the Lindor balls around in a circle (for a skillet) or one in each corner (for a tray)
Put the pan or tray in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes
The brownies are cooked once the edges start to come away from the pan and the top is just dried and starting to crack
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully lifting onto a wire tray
Dust the brownies with icing sugar
Cut into slices or squares and eat warm
These can be reheated in a microwave for 20 seconds or so.
If you want a larger batch, you could double up the quantities (remember they will take a little longer to cook). Or use my recipe for chocolate and cherry brandy brownies and switch out the brandy and cherries for as many Lindt Salted Caramel Truffles as you can fit in the tray!
You could use any of the Lindt Lindor range with these brownies – there are white, milk and dark chocolate flavours and limited edition specials like the hazelnut Lindor and orange all of which I think would work well. I’m less sure about the idea of the strawberry and cream Lindor in this setting and as I’m allergic to strawberries I don’t plan trying. Let me know in the comments if you do.