September 22nd, 2016
From Brownies, Blondies and other Traybakes, published by Ryland Peters & Small
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
First, dry fry the bacon in a frying pan/skillet set over a medium heat until golden. Stir in the maple syrup, turn off the heat and set aside to cool in the pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until smooth. Take the bowl off the heat and leave to cool slightly before whisking in the sugars, bacon syrup, eggs and salt. Sift in the flour and raising agents, and fold in together with the pecans.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes, or until just set. A skewer inserted into the middle should still have a little stickiness left on it. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on top of a wire rack before turning out and cutting into squares.
Chocolate brownies with miso caramel: For a miso caramel variation of these brownies, omit the bacon, maple syrup and pecans and begin by making the caramel. Put the sugar and 70 ml/1⁄3 cup of water in a pan set over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring, increase the heat and bring the syrup to the boil. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals that stick to the side of the pan. When the sugar turns deep amber, remove from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up, but whisk well to mix. If the cold cream causes the caramel to harden too much, pop it back over a gentle heat until it melts again. Whisk in the miso and set aside.
As above, make the brownie mixture but add vanilla with the salt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and level the top with the back of a spoon. Drizzle over half of the miso caramel. If the miso caramel has hardened, gently heat it to soften it again. Use a skewer to swirl the caramel around and bake as above.
Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle the rest of the caramel over the top. Leave to cool in the pan, turn out and cut as above.