Dulce de leche Brownies

Hello, beautiful people of Earth!

I’ve been crazy busy since I came back from Karachi. November went by a whizz. Its that time of the year, the end of the semester. When it’s a struggle to keep eyes open in the darkened lecture hall. When’s it’s all a bit too much to cram in.

Time is punishing. And my schedule is cruel. But I’m still here and by looking at my views, I know you are too. So it’s all good.

I’ve been Snapchatting on a regular basis, so I’m not totally AWOL. {Add me at: noora559} And I know a lot of you guys enjoy the snap stories; I’ve been getting so many messages asking me to share the recipes for everything I Snap. I promise you I shall.

Now coming to the brownies. Did you know today is National Brownie Day?

It is!

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

If there’s anything in this world I could eat over and over again, it would be brownies (and cinnamon rolls). But brownies OMGAAAY. Fudgy, dense, chocolatey bites of pure heaven. People who don’t like brownies are beyond me (why do they exist?).

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Therefore, I am going to share with all of you the recipe for my most favorite brownies.

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Caramel + Brownies makes for one killer combination. Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

 

The brownie batter is the same as my M&M Brownies. But minus the M&Ms, this brownie batter has Dulce de leche swirled in it in large globs before being baked.

If you don’t know what Dulce de leche is, then, um…I don’t know you. Just kidding.

Let me introduce you to this lush beauty of a thing. Think thick caramely goodness. Caramelized condensed milk. Condensed milk itself is pure deliciousness, but when allowed to boil for an hour or so, it turns into the most delicious thing beyond your wildest dreams.

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

It’s originally made by boiling a whole can of condensed milk, unopened, for a good 3-4 hours. What I did for this recipe was a shorter version of it. I had half a can of condensed milk on hand, so I dumped the contents of it into a bowl set over simmering water and let it cook on low heat till it turned into a deep brown caramel color. That’s it. That’s your Dulce de leche ready to be swirled into your brownies (or sneak spoonfuls of).

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

These brownies came out oozing with caramel. The pictures here were taken after I had let them cool, the caramel set with time. But as soon as you microwave these beauties for only a couple seconds, you’ll have the lovely lush caramel oozing out again.

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Don’t mind my sharing a bazillion pictures of these brownies. Because I.JUST.CAN’T.GET.ENOUGH!

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

 

Dulce de leche Brownies

Prep Time: 5 minutes                                                                        Yields: 16 small squares
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ cup (115g) melted butter
¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cup Dulce de leche*
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter and line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the melted butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla.
Beat in the eggs.
Fold in the flour and the baking powder, till just combined.
Pour half the batter into the prepared dish. Spoon large dollops of Dulce de leche on it. Pour remaining brownie batter over it. Glide a knife in a swirly motion in the pan.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (as if there will be any leftovers ;))
Notes:
*To make Dulce de leche; simply empty the contents of half a can of condensed milk in a bowl, and set it over a pan of simmering water. Cook till it turns a deep brown caramel color.
Adapted from SACO cocoa powder recipe

Caramel and chocolate anything is to die for, to tell the truth. But brownies bring it to a whole new level.

Sticky Date Pudding

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

-Albert Camus

Fall is my fav!

Of foggy breaths, funky socks and marshmallows in hot drinks… autumn is love because it announces the coming of winter. And what better way to celebrate this awesome mausum than with something composed of rich caramely goodness, dates and warm toffee.

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

After Hajj 2015 ( I hope all your loved ones are home safe by the grace of Allah), many of you will have loads of beautiful fresh dates. So this seemed like the perfect time to share the recipe of a sticky date pudding with you. I bet most of you don’t eat more than a few dates anyway (unless cajoled by your mums). Instead of popping them dates straight in your mouth, why not turn them into something even more delicious (and edible).

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

This dessert is a British classic that has become a favorite worldwide. Made with dates, butter and lots of caramel, it has the power to turn any chocolate lover around. If my sister (a committed chocoholic) can claim this to be one of her favorite dessert, so can you!

 Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Maybe pudding is a little (ok, a lot) misleading for the desi in us. But the British call all their desserts puddings (don’t ask me why), and this dish is thoroughly British. Its a date-studded cake/pudding that is drowned in a sea of warm butterscotch sauce after baking.

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Here I’ll like to admit to two horrendous misconceptions I had before making this cake/pudding.

1) I was never enamored with the idea of baking dates. The thought of mushy, khajoor-y cake made me ick and think of strawberry and cream.

2) The second thought that drove me insane was of the sweetness upon sweetness. Sugary sweet dates with a thick caramel sauce. Who will willingly induce a sugar coma?

But, I was wrong and you will be too when you make this cake/pudding.

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Everything in it is perfectly balanced. The flavor isn’t over-poweringly date-like. In fact you will hardly be able to tell there are dates in it. It’s the toffee sauce that takes all the glory.

The toffee sauce is unbelievably addicting. And not just with this date pudding, but with anything. On ice-creams, drizzled on top of pies, breads, or just on a spoon straight into your mouth (unless you are diabetic). And it’s super easy to make too. Just pop everything (the butter, brown sugar and cream) in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. And you’re done. It’s thick and pourable, and settles on top of the moist date sponge like a glaze, complimenting it perfectly.

The whole shebang is rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Bake it in the form of one cake..

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Or several mini cakes…

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Either way, it’s a must for the chilly season to come!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Pudding
¼ cup (52g) butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 ½ cup (6 ounces) chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup water
Sauce
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup (52g) butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

For the pudding:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter a muffin tray or an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside.
Bring dates and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda (mixture will become foamy). Set aside, and let it cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, with the help of an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mixture will be grainy.
Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool slightly in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack.
For the sauce:
In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, cream, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract.
Cut warm cake into slices. Pour prepared toffee sauce on top. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Notes:
*Can also be made in a Bundt pan or a muffin tray.
**Warm leftovers in the microwave before serving. Leftovers, even the sauce, can be stored in the refrigerator for over a week. 
Recipe source:  Bon Appétit
Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.

Poke holes in the cake to drench it completely in the toffee sauce.

Sticky Toffee Pudding..rich, buttery, and oh so decadent.