Cravings are not something I get very often, but I had a serious craving for a nice fudgy brownie a few weeks ago. I am going to blame (and thank) my pregnancy for this. My pantry just so happened to be stocked with the perfect ingredients. A bag of candied ginger, some Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate bars (thanks, Lindsey!) and my newly purchased Maldon flaked sea salt that I had been very anxious to use. After adding some butter, sugar, eggs and flour, I had these bites of chocolatey goodness that perfectly satisfied my chocolate craving.
In searching for a recipe I found the sweet and salty caramel brownie in this Baked cookbook which is now on my list of things to make and not share with other people. Since I didn’t have everything to make the caramel brownies, I used the basic brownie recipe and then added in some chopped candied ginger, chopped dark chocolate and sprinkled the brownies with some flaked sea salt before and then right after baking. I didn’t measure my salt. Use a light hand when sprinkling because a little goes a long way. The salt with the dark chocolate is so wonderfully perfect. And the ginger. Oh, the ginger. Leave it out if you really hate it, but it is subtle and delicious. I love the interest it added to this simple brownie.
These brownies are very fudgy and dense, making them less than easy to remove from the pan. I did not use parchment in the bottom of my 9×13, as suggested. I just greased the pan generously thinking this would surely be enough to guarantee quick and safe removal. I let the brownies cool, and then chilled them in the fridge so they would be easier to cut. I think this little trick does make removing gooey brownies easier in general, but maybe they were a bit too cold. I had a few casualties that weren’t pretty enough to be served and had to be eaten…what a shame. It was kind of like cutting the first piece of pie that almost always falls apart and looks ugly. After you clear up that first row, things do get easier to cut and remove. Now, do not let all my negative talk deter you from making these! The little frustration involved in cutting these is definitely worth it in the end. Just use parchment, remove the whole pan of brownies once they’re cool, transfer it to a cutting board and use a large chefs knife to cut them. I still thing chilling them for a little bit helps, but it’s up to you.
- Use good chocolate, the chocolate is the main attraction.
- Cut these into small squares, they are rich.
- Give some away, or you’ll get sick.
- Store them in the fridge and let them warm up for a few minutes before enjoying.
Dark Chocolate Ginger & Sea Salt Brownies
Adapted from Baked Explorations
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 11 ounces good dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate
- 4 ounces chopped candied ginger
- Flaked sea salt, fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease sides and bottom of 9×13 inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment, leaving a little overhang on the short sides if desired, and grease the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted. Turn off the heat and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat at this point.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold it a few times. Add the chocolate and ginger and fold until a slight trace of flour remains.
- Spread batter evenly into the 9×13 pan, then sprinkle lightly with flaked salt.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Stick a toothpick into the center to check for doneness, only a few moist crumbs should attach.
- Sprinkle immediately with a little more salt (a little goes a long way) and let brownies cool in the pan, then cut them into squares and serve.