One of my favorite specialty grocers in Oakland is Market Hall. They are a treasure trove. There are a few different shops under the roof including a bakery, grocery store with beautiful cheese, pasta, and charcuterie departments, a wine shop, fishmonger, and butcher. They pay attention to where they source their food from and always delight with samples of vinegar, olive oil, jam, cheese. Then there are towers of specialty items to tempt you to splurge on something special for you or as a gift.
One such item was this:
I had learned about Kitty Keller on Market Hall's blog and knew these would be amazing. You can learn more about her and her company and products here.
I had already made these olive oil brownies twice in two weeks and when I saw these salted caramel crumbles knew I’d need to bake up another batch.
The crumbles were less salty than I expected so I didn’t adjust the salt that was originally added by Melisa Clark in her original olive oil brownies with sea salt recipe over on New York Times. Instead, I added the salted caramel crumbles in and topped the warm, baked brownies with them.
If you can’t find them you could make a sheet of caramel and when it’s cool, blitz it in a food processor or go without. The brownies were changed slightly by their flavor with the most noticeable change being the shower on the top. They added a caramel richness and depth.
How about you? Do you get tempted by food shops filled with jars of treats?
With or without the temptation of a tiny jar of flakey caramel, these brownies are rich and thick, almost a cross between a brownie and fudge. The salt on top plays so beautifully with the deeply chocolatey interior that it is hard to stop eating bite after bite.
6 tablespoons/90 milliliters mild extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup/25 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¼ cup/60 milliliters boiling water
3 ounces/90 milliliters melted unsweetened chocolate
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
¾ cup/165 grams packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salted caramel crumbles
⅓ cup/65 grams granulated sugar
½ cup/90 grams mini or regular chocolate chips
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, as needed
Heat oven to 350°f.
Grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with some olive oil. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides so you can pull the brownies out easily.
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In a separate, large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth and then add in 6 tablespoons oil, melted chocolate, egg, and vanilla and whisk all ingredients. Don’t worry if it looks a little separated.
Add and whisk in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salted caramel crumbles. Fold in flour mixture and the chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until just firm, 20 to 25 minutes.
As soon as you remove the brownies from the oven, sprinkle with salt and salted caramel crumbles.
Allow to cool before cutting, if you have the will power.
If you can't find or Salted Caramel Crumbles you can either make them or omit them entirely. Top with flakey sea salt instead.