Caramel & Pecan Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 3 ounces chopped pecans (about 1 1/2 cups)

For caramel:

  • 2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • pecans

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC. Butter a 22cmx33cm (9-by-13-inch) glass baking dish. Line on the bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter the paper. Set aside.
  2. Place bittersweet chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl; set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, cayenne, and salt, and set aside.
  4. Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and chocolate mixture, and stir to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate.
  6. Pour half of the batter into dish, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake for about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile prepare the caramel – Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened to desired consistency.
  8. Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the brownies (if you let it sit, it will get hard and difficult to spread). Pour the remaining brownie batter evenly over the caramel mixture and spread gently to cover (if you pour it in a clump, it will be difficult to spread and the layers will get mixed together). Sprinkle the chocolate chips and remaining pecans on top of the brownie layer. Bake until set, for about 20-30 minutes
  9. Grab the foil edges and lift the brownies out of the pan and cut them into squares.
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