Melted butter, to grease
220g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup plain flour
2 tsp Dutch processed cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup thickened cream
1 Tbsp light corn syrup (if unavailable, use glucose syrup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark cooking chocolate, chopped
Sea-salt flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 23 x 23 x 5cm slice tin and set aside. In a small saucepan, stir 180g of the cooking chocolate and 120g butter over low heat until melted. Allow to cool slightly.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Reserve 25 of the pecan halves for garnish. Finely chop the remaining pecan halves; set aside.
Put caster sugar, egg and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla in the medium bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium to high speed for about 4 minutes or until pale and thickened. Beat in melted chocolate mixture. Gently fold in flour mixture and pecans until combined. Pour batter into prepared tin, spreading evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate pieces. Cover loosely with baking paper and let stand for 10 minutes.
To make caramel sauce, combine remaining butter, sugar, cream and syrup in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Boil gently uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla; cool slightly. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Spread melted chocolate evenly over uncut brownies. Cool in tin on wire rack. Cut into squares. Top with caramel sauce and reserved pecan halves. If desired, sprinkle with salt to serve.
Cook’s tip: To help brownies stay moist and luscious longer, let them cool completely before cutting them. And to ensure smooth, smudge-free sides, hold a thin-blade knife under hot water, wipe the blade dry and start slicing. Repeat as necessary.
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