This weekend, well today, Saturday, has been about using ingredients that has a best by date that’s just passed.
A few weeks ago I came across this recipe for Caramel Fudge Brownies. I’m not even sure why I spotted it. But I posted it to my Facebook page and I wasn’t the only one ooh’ing and ahh’ing over the picture.
I couldn’t make it the coming weekend as I was out at Cake & Sugar Art learning how to make the Magnolia and double blossom sugar flowers. Then last weekend I had the Halloween Cake. But here we are. And using a packet of Jersey Caramels that had a date of 2 October 2013. Ahh, what’s a couple of weeks between friends? It’s just a best by, not an expiry date.
My plan had been to make these last night, yeah I know, what’s one more day. I’ve caught Mr Fussy’s “man flu”. A flu that’s confused about gender. Anyway I just couldn’t bring myself to bake anything. Not even when it contained caramel. Yes, the flu really had a grip on me. Although I had a shocking night (awake from 11:30pm – 2am – don’t worry, I put in an online order to a NZ Cake Decorating store, it wasn’t a complete waste) I woke feeling not too bad, my face didn’t hurt and my headache had subsided. I was very thankful because Mum and I were off to She Chocolat for a Chocoalte Tour. It was an education in the history of Chocolate, with a good number of tastings. I never would have thought I’d enjoy a pretzel dipped in a chocolate fondue. I don’t like pretzels.
Anyhoo, I got home this afternoon after a nice morning followed by lunch with Mum, then a quick (and expensive) stop at Mercato who were holding their annual sale, to get stuck into catching up on my baking agenda.
The recipe says to put the brownie mixture into a Jelly Roll tin. Do you know what that is? It’s not a common term we use (unless my head is in the clouds) in New Zealand. I had to Google what the dimensions are. And what do you know? There’s a variety of different sizes. Yeah, not very helpful when the recipe doesn’t state the size of the pan. My pan, which I think might have been called a Jelly Roll tin at Stevens, is 24 x 36cm, give or take a few mm.
The ingredients filled the pan to the top which was a problem for adding a layer of gooey caramel and chocolate.
Once the brownie had baked I then cut the brownie into a size that fit into my expandable square tin (with higher sides) and a loaf pan. It also left me with about 7mm of Brownie the entire length of the Jelly Roll tin and enough at the end to slice 6 square of brownie which is now in the freezer waiting for another occasion to make an appearance and be dressed up with vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce and berries.
Now it was safe to add the caramel.
We don’t get Kraft Caramels here in New Zealand, but we can buy Jersey Caramels. This morning before heading out I melted them down in the microwave. I had full power for 30 seconds and then mixed, not that there was much melting going on. Then a further 20 seconds and they were nicely melted and with a bit of mixing because one organised lump. When I got home they had hardened into the lump. At least it gave me confidence that the caramel would set once it had cooled.
To the tin of condensed milk, with the Jersey Caramels I added the last of the caramel sauce I’d made some weeks ago. The caramel had a distinct Jersey Caramel flavour to it. Mr Fussy said it was like a MacIntosh Toffee lolly, specifically an Egg and Cream flavour.
Because I had packed some of the brownie up for the freezer, and we’d gobbled up the little narrow slither from the edge, I decided to cut back on the chocolate layer ingredients. I made only 2/3rds of the chocolate.
I had worried that the chocolate would be too hard to smooth over the caramel with the caramel layer and brownie having been cold from sitting in the fridge, but it was fine. I was able to pick up the loaf pan and tilt it to move the chocolate into the corners. I used an offset pallet knife for the expandable square tin.
After about 15 or so minutes I tested to see if the chocolate had set. You can actually see my print in the corner. It had set but it wasn’t solid hard.
I cut the loaf pan caramel fudge brownie up into 6 pieces. Really it could have been cut a bit smaller because it was becoming difficult to eat with 3 mouthfuls to go.
I used Whittaker’s 62% chocolate for the chocolate layer, it wasn’t bitter, but I think it overshadowed the caramel. Still my preference would have been to use a homemade caramel. The brownie base was also not a rich intense chocolate flavour since it only used cocoa powder, but it has a nice soft texture, I guess it is fudgy.
I’ve got a whole expandable tin of this left, and I’m pretty sure I know some family members only too happy to give this recipe the taste test. And I’ll be glad not to have any temptation left in the house. I’ve already spent the day sampling a lot of chocolate in different forms. I’m pretty much done now, and very satisfied with my lot.
As for Mr Fussy, as I was allocating portions of the caramel fudge brownie, he was scraping the gooey caramel from the baking paper and happily licking his fingers. But he too found the last few mouthfuls were too much. So smaller pieces would be my advice.