Brownies with Flaky Sea Salt
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Nothing beats a good brownie. But everyone has different ideas on what makes a brownie good! Some people like brownies so fudgy it's almost like a tray of chocolate ganache, and other people like them to still have a cakey quality. But I think one thing everyone agrees on, is that the top needs to be crackly, shiny, and paper-thin. In my humble opinion, brownies also need to be salted! I like to use fine sea salt in the batter, and a sprinkle of flaky salt on top. In the UK, everyone uses Maldon sea salt, which I highly recommend.
I watched an interesting video the other day about how to get a crackly top on your brownie. It seems like everyone has a different theory about it. One thing I do know, is that it has to do with the sugar! This video said it's about how well the sugar is dissolved in the batter. And a lot of variables determine how well the sugar dissolves of course. I like to whip the eggs and sugar for quite long (which is controversial, as usually people avoid things that make the brownie "rise" more). But I feel this helps to dissolve the sugar. And then, adding the warm melted chocolate and butter should help too. Whether these are the things that create the crackly top on these brownies, I can't be sure, but the recipe works and that's the most important thing!
Another brownie debate is about what the best serving temperature is. Some people like them hot, straight from the oven, and others vow by putting them in the fridge overnight before eating to resolidify the butter. I like both ways for different reasons. When I serve these brownies for dessert, I like to serve them hot with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream on the side. When I have them with my coffee for a snack, I like to cut a smaller piece straight from the fridge, almost like a petit four with your coffee.
Brownies with Flaky Sea Salt
Use an 8.5 x 8.5 inch brownie tin (~22cm x 22cm). This recipe makes 9 large brownies.
160 grams unsalted butter
270 grams dark chocolate between 60-70% cacao mass
4 medium eggs
200 grams plain flour
40 grams cacao powder
330 grams caster sugar
4 grams fine sea salt (around 3/4 teaspoon)
flaky sea salt for topping
Turn the oven on to 180 degrees Celsius (conventional) or 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
Prepare your brownie tin by greasing it and putting parchment paper in it.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium bowl over a bain marie, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. You can also microwave the mixture in 20 second bursts, stirring in between each one.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and caster sugar together for 5 minutes on low speed. You want it kind of frothy with the sugar very well incorporated.
Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs whilst continuously mixing. Be careful if your chocolate is still very hot as the eggs could scramble (but this has never happened to me so it should be fine).
Sieve the cocoa powder, flour, and salt together and add to the mix. Gently fold it in.
Transfer the batter to your prepared tin and top with flaky sea salt. The batter should be sticky and thick.
Sprinkle some flaky salt on top of the brownie and bake for 25-30 minutes. The toothpick test will not apply here: you want the middle to be undercooked so a toothpick should not come out clean, as the brownie will be very cakey if it does. The best way to tell whether the brownies are done, is if the outside has cracks around it and looks puffy, and the inside is just about set and doesn't really wobbly anymore but it also not rock hard.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Depending on how you look your brownies, you can transfer them to the fridge once they are cooled down enough. If you want a smooth cut, you need to cut them with a hot knife whilst cold for best results. Enjoy!
You can store these brownies in a tupperware on the counter for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze them as well.
Look at that super fudgy inside! You could cut away the sides of the brownie if you want all of the pieces to be fully fudgy and square (and of course you can eat the off cuts whilst you do so...). This works especially well if you have baked the brownies a bit too long and the sides have gone a bit too cakey for your liking.
Also, don't forget to sprinkle extra sea salt flakes on top of the brownies before serving.
I hope you love this recipe and give it a try yourself. Tag me on instagram @bakingstori of you do - I would love to see your results!
If you love fudgy chocolate cakes, be sure to also check out my flourless chocolate cake below! :)