Fifty Shades of Chicken or Foolproof?

Ina Garten’s Salted Caramel Brownies

My friend Eva (at KitchenInspirations) and I have been joking around for a while now that we should start a blog called Fifty Shades of Grey Cooks. I guess that it was only a matter of time before someone connected this literary phenomenon with cooking. It was bound to happen. So, really I wasn’t that surprized when I saw this book in the window of an Indigo Bookstore this week:

A quick google search revealed a few of the recipes that this recently-released book has in store: mustard spanked chicken and learning to truss you. Hmmm, I wonder if my spatchcocked chicken recipe made the cut?

I’m not sure if Fifty Shades of Chicken is going to be on my Christmas list, but this cookbook definitely is:

In fact, I’m positive that my mom is going to get it for me because I found it hidden in the room where she stays when she comes to visit. I couldn’t resist having a peek at the book, and well, when I saw the recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies, I knew that I couldn’t wait until Christmas to make them. Fortunately, the recipe is already online so there aren’t any chocolate smears on the book to give my secret away. (But, please don’t tell my mom that I was snooping!)

The brownies were just as good as I imagined that they would be. They combine Ina’s outrageous brownies with caramel and salt, so really, how can you go wrong?

I’m really excited that I have this book to look forward to. But I’m not sure what other cookbook I should add to my Christmas list. Any suggestions? My husband reads this blog and he never knows what to get me, so I’d really love it if you could point him in the right direction by leaving your cookbook suggestions in my comment section.

Blogiversary Cookbook Giveaway

In fact, as a little incentive, if you make a cookbook recommendation or just leave a comment, you’ll be entered into a draw to win a cookbook. I’m in the mood to celebrate, since my one year blogiversary is coming up next week (Nov. 19). The winner will have a choice of either Fifty Shades of Chicken or Ina Garten’s Foolproof cookbook — I’ll contact you if you win and you can decide which book you’d like. If you also sign up to subscribe to my email updates from now until Nov. 19th, you’ll be entered a second time.

You can enter until November 19 at 12:00 EST. The draw will take place on November 20th — the winner will be drawn manually by one of the ponytails.

Even if you haven’t read the Fifty Shades books, you really must watch the trailer for Fifty Shades of Chicken by clicking here.

Salted Caramel Brownies

Slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Foolproof

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces plus 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 1/3 cups + 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • ½ tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 ½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 ounces of caramel sauce (see note below)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons flaked sea salt (I used 1 ½ tsp fleur de sel)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9” x 13” baking pan.

Melt the butter, 8 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature (see note).

In a medium bowl, sift together ½ cup of the flour, the baking powder, and salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the jar of caramel sauce without the lid in a microwave and heat just until it’s pourable. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the hot brownies and sprinkle with the sea salt. Cool completely and cut into (12) bars or more, according to your preference.

NOTES:

  • When making the brownies, it is important to ensure that the batter cools before adding the chocolate chips, otherwise the chips will melt and ruin the batter.
  • Ina uses a 9′ x 12″ pan, but I find that the 9″ x 13″ pan is standard here in Canada. The 9″ x 13″ worked perfectly!
  • Ina suggests using true caramel sauce rather than dulce de leche, which has a lot of milk or cream added. She uses Fran’s. (www.franschocolates.com).
  • I used Lyons Caramel Sauce ,which I bought at Pusateri’s. I also really like Starbuck’s caramel sauce, which I have used for years.
  • If you have trouble finding caramel sauce, you can make your own. Please see fellow blogger A. Boleyn’s recipe here.
  • One 350 g bag of chocolate chips is approximately 12.7 ounces. Sissi, you’ll be happy to know that I finally bought a scale!
  • I adapted the recipe by reducing the amount of coffee and increasing the amount of vanilla to make these ponytail-friendly.
  • The giveaway is sponsored by me, not a publisher!

So, what’ll it be Fifty Shades of Chicken or Foolproof?