Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownies

SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES

So this recipe is one Ive done for the last couple of years and its divine but goes against all my health messages with so much sugar and even a pinch of salt – so please forgive me this once! My team back in the UK make this one quite often with a lady called Debs the true expert in making them. Go on treat yourself and enjoy….

Portions: 8-12

INGREDIENTS

For the Salted Caramel Filling

175g Caster Sugar

150mls Double Cream

10g Unsalted Butter

Large Pinch of Flaked Sea Salt

 

For the Brownie

180g Plain Flour

3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder

300g Dark Chocolate (65-75% cocoa solids)

150g Unsalted Butter

220g Light Brown Sugar

150g Caster Sugar

4 large Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

METHOD

Salted Caramel Filling:

  1. Place the sugar into a medium sized, solid based pan on the hotplate and cook until the sugar melts and caramelizes – it should look a dark brown colour.
  2. Pour in half the cream and all the salt – be very careful as the mixture will bubble up violently.
  3. Once the mixture has subsided, pour in the remaining cream, followed by the butter. If there are still any lumps, then return the pan to the simmer plate and stir gently until smooth.
  4. Remove from the hob and allow to cool……next its time to make The Brownie
  1. Line a 21cm x 21cm baking tin with baking parchment, leaving a 3cm overhang along two edges, to help when removing the brownies.
  2. Sieve flour, salt and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl and leave to one side.
  3. Place chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is melted.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth and then gently fold in the flour/ cocoa mixture.
  5. Spread half of this mixture over the base of the tin and then squeeze over the caramel, leaving a 1.5cm border around the outside.
  6. Then gently spread the rest of the brownie mixture over the caramel (you could use a piping bag to make life easier).
  7. Level the top gently and then bake for approx. 25-30 minutes at 190 Degrees, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  8. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.

www.robrees.com.au

 

Halloween Pumpkin Gnocchi

Serves 6

1.6 kg Pumpkin flesh seeds removed (try Windsor Black, Queensland Blue, Jarrahdale or Sweet Grey)
260g Pasta flour or Plain flour
2 beaten Eggs
100g Parmesan grated
Olive oil to drizzle

A good twist of cracked black pepper
200g unsalted butter
Mixed freshly chopped herbs – parsley, sage and thyme

Cut the pumpkin into quarters, place on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with tin foil and bake in an oven 200°c until the flesh is tender.

  • Remove from the oven and scrape the flesh from the skins. Blitz in a blender until perfectly smooth and velvety.
  • Gently mix the pumpkin with the flour. Season with pepper and then add the egg and Parmesan. Stir until the mixture forms a loose ball.
  • Sprinkle the work top with flour and then roll the pumpkin into long sausages. Cut into pieces and shape into balls. Press the back of a fork into them to mark them.
  • Poach in a large pan of simmering water until they begin to float.
  • Chill in iced water. Drain and dry, then store lightly coated in olive oil to prevent sticking.

To serve melt the butter in a pan until golden and nutty. Add the gnocchi gently and toss in the butter until piping hot. Season with a good sprinkle of fresh herbs and a little extra cheese and serve. A great dish on its own or with Cob Lettuces as well as chorizo, bacon or smoked salmon.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Its huge around the globe. What really is it though? I was delighted to collect Best CSR Award at the Gloucestershire Business Awards in the UK for the company I founded before I came to Australia. It embraced living wages, ethical and sustainable practices, investments into staff and off course community values.

Is good CSR the way forward? Does it truly impact positively on community or just help tick boxes for corporates?

What is the difference between social enterprises and a company with a good CSR? – actually the answer is massive and no doubt we will come back to it! Social Enterprises are the way forward as long as there is a focus on quality of the product then it’s obvious for a consumer who wants their money to go further to purchase from a social enterprise getting a great product and making a difference to a cause.

Let me know where the good CSR’s are in Australia and especially Melbourne but even more importantly get shouting here on the blog about the fantastic social enterprises there are here.

Kitchen Impossible with Michel Roux Jr

Channel 4 9pm Thursday 29th November (UK time)

I have to let you know that this week the charity I founded in the UK The Wiggly Worm is the expert charity delivering on the programme listed above and remains so for four episodes.

You can check out the trailer for it on YouTube.

It showcases the project I founded called Kitchen Challenge – a project that takes people with difference and via employment and kitchen work develops their self-esteem, belief, and well-being. The key goal is to get people jobs. You will have to wait and see what happens and I’m sure at some point it will make the screens here in Australia.

It pushes the boundary on meaningful employment for those with difference.

I believe everyone has a positive skill and asset that they can bring to society. Any employer or “scheme” that rights off disability or mental health conditions placing individuals at the bottom of a list is disgraceful. Employers need to adapt use technology, nurture openness and discussion, make reasonable adjustments. That combined with individuals pushing their boundaries, reflecting and correcting on their actions regularly can bring an employer consensus and results that change lives and drive forward quality, standards and economic growth.

Watch the programme, learn and listen better about Tourettes, blindness, Downs Syndrome and many more conditions in the world of work.

As the Daily Mail quotes in the UK – “This is a cookery show that will make you cry”

Welcome to Australia

Well it is great to have arrived with the family. Thanks for an amazing welcome. After two weeks settling though it is now back to work.

What is the plan? – it’s simple – to share and integrate the award winning work achieved in the UK here in Australia. To make a difference. To get more and more people contributing greater and better to society and their community. To help in partnership with amazing Australian people and places this nation so kind to welcome me here embrace better food choices and support those most vulnerable in its society.

Food is indeed my expertise. Behaviour change, governance and leadership also get me fired up. I have strong ethical values and forthright views and from farm to fork, cradle to grave, obesity to food poverty I want to be involved.

There is so much great work going on in the world of food its quite inspiring but it’s hard to find who is pulling it all together, leading the public health prevention required and establishing robust policy frameworks to get a food industry to move towards better food. I heard there are nearly 140 diet related deaths per day in Australia and nearly ten years ago it was a nation quoted as getting fatter faster than any other on the planet. I don’t know if that stat still stands by it feels like something you wouldn’t want to be the best at.

I have come across some stunning fresh foods already in cafes, bistro, restaurants, markets and shops. Such quality and standards should be affordable for all with food going centre stage in people lives as the core of what defines their health and well-being.

Do stay in touch and let’s make Food Work for Australia.

Happy Days – Rob