Week 161: Caramel brownie fingers

I have been fascinated by these “chocolate fingers” I have been seeing on my Instagram feed for the longest time. But somehow it just did not seem to make it into my baking list.

Until this weekend. I have been craving something chocolatey. Not just chocolate, but layers of chocolate, and nuts, and caramel. I have not come across any recipes for these so I thought I’d just put together a few of my favourite things and cover it with a nutty glaze.

So here is my version of the caramel brownie fingers. The base is my favourite brownie recipe. A croustillant praliné layer to add some texture and a generous layer of caramel cremeux. Covered with roasted, chopped almond added to dark chocolate mirror glaze. Topping the fingers is piped caramelised white chocolate ganache dotted with hazelnut praline. Decadence.

For the brownie

100g dark chocolate drops (> 70% cocoa butter)

30ml water

57g unsalted butter, cubed

30g caster sugar

40g light brown sugar

A generous pinch of sea salt

8g plain flour

2 large eggs

5g ground almond

32g chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan.

2) Grease a 7″ x 7″ tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.

3) In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, water, and butter together, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugars, salt and flour, then the eggs, one by one.

4) Mix in the ground almond and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the center feels just about set.

5) Let it cool, then cut out the edges and fit the brownie into a 6″ x 6″ tin.

For the croustillant praliné

75g praline paste

25g dark chocolate couverture

65g feuilletine

1) Melt the praline paste and dark chocolate on a water bath.

2) Once melted, remove from heat and gently stir in the feuilletine.

3) Spread the croustillant into an even layer on top of the brownie in the 6″ x 6″ tin. Allow to chill and set in the refrigerator.

For the caramel cremeux

90g + 15g caster sugar

40g egg yolks

20g corn flour

270g whole milk

150g salted butter, at room temperature

1) Add 15g sugar, egg yolks and corn flour into a bowl and whisk until mixture is homogeneous.

2) Heat the milk in a saucepan and keep it warm.

3) Make a dry caramel using the remaining 90g sugar.

4) When the caramel has reached a golden amber colour, slowly whisk the warm milk into the caramel.

5) After all the milk has been added to the caramel, whisk to ensure caramel milk is smooth and free of lumps, then pour a quarter of the hot caramel milk into egg yolk mixture to temper it, before pouring the mixture back into the caramel milk.

6) Cook the caramel milk mixture on low heat while whisking continuously until the mixture has thickened.

7) Scrap the caramel cream into a bowl and cover with cling wrap pressed onto the surface.

8) When caramel cream has cooled to room temperature, add the butter to the cream. Use a hand blender to emulsify the cream.

9) Pour the cream into the 6″ x 6″ tin, covering the croustillant layer and spread it into an even layer. Allow to chill and set in the refrigerator.

For the caramelised white chocolate whipped ganache

125g heavy cream

25g glucose

110g caramelised white chocolate

187g heavy cream, chilled

1) Bring the 125g cream and glucose to a boil.

2) Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate and stir until smooth.

3) Add the chilled cream and emulsify using a hand blender.

4) Cover the ganache with cling wrap pressed onto the surface and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

5) Whip the cream with a whisk before filling in a pastry bag and piping it.

For the glaze

300g dark chocolate mirror glaze

75g roasted, chopped hazelnuts

1) Heat the glaze until fully melted, remove from heat, then stir in the chopped hazelnuts.

2) Pour glaze until brownie fingers, cut to 3″ x 1″ rectangles.

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