The recipe for these decadent fudge brownies comes from Caramel, a cookbook by Carol Bloom. And while I loved the idea of layering rich caramel and dark chocolate ganache on top of brownies, I especially love raspberry and chocolate and tried my hand at (several attempts!) making raspberry caramel. My pains were duly rewarded with one of the most delicious desserts I have ever made and consumed. These are RICH…so you really don’t have to eat a huge square to feel satisfied. And they are unforgettable…I will be making these for years to come!
I will not lie – learning how to make a caramel sauce (my first time) was something of a process, so don’t make this recipe if you are not familiar with making caramel, are in a hurry or don’t have a back up plan! I found this video was the best for learning how to make caramel sauce of all the videos and tutorials I watched.
This is a recipe I made on a solo mission – without my kids – because I had never made it before. And I wanted to mention this because I don’t cook absolutely everything with my kids – even things that seem super fun for kids like brownies! If I know I’m likely to feel frustrated or overwhelmed by a recipe – I will try to set aside time when I know they will be occupied or asleep so I can really focus.
- 10 oz. frozen raspberries (you can use fresh too)
- 1⁄4 C. water
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup or honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1⁄2 C. heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Other tools:
- Fine mesh sieve
- Pastry brush
- Candy thermometer (optional)
- First add the berries and lemon juice to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stir and break down the berries with a spatula until you have a smooth consistency and all discernible raspberry chunks are gone. Strain the seeds and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, add the heavy whipping cream to the raspberry mixture and set aside again, it will be added to the caramel mixture towards the end.
- To make the caramel, get all the ingredient and tools you need ready because once you start making it, you should not leave the pot!
- Combine the sugar, water, and syrup or honey and stir just slightly to combine. Wet a pastry brush with water and brush it around the inside of the saucepan just above the sugar mixture, this will help ensure sugar crystals don't form which can make the caramel grainy. You can repeat this damping process if you notice sugar crystals forming again.
- Turn your heat on medium and do not touch or stir the caramel at all the remainder of the time it is boiling. Also, do not leave the pot unattended at any point. Caramel can go from light amber to dark and burnt rather quickly. You may wish to use a candy thermometer, which is not necessary, but can ensure the consistency you want, which for this recipe is more sauce-like in the 250-275 degree range, ￼￼￼￼￼rather than a hard, chewy caramel candy consistency, which is 300 and above.
- The caramel will be ready when it reaches a deep amber color. You may be tempted to stop once you see a light amber color because you have likely read all about burnt caramel in the internet, but don't, it will be too thin for the recipe and will just taste like sugar syrup instead of a rich caramel taste. It will be a dark brown color almost like whiskey or bourbon. If you see or smell smoke, remove from heat right away!
- Now you will add the raspberry cream mixture and the butter while whisking constantly. (You may want to wear an oven mitt if you can manage it with pouring and whisking, as the caramel is very hot and will stick to your skin and burn you if it splatters while you pour.) A hard ball may form in the center - do not worry you have not ruined anything, keep stirring and it will all melt together. You can use low heat if you are having trouble getting it to liquefy.