Saturday, March 10, 2012

Caramel Pretzel Brownies with White Chocolate Mousse

*UPDATE: I won Iron Baker! Thank you SO much to all that voted, you all are the best! And thanks to Melissa @ 20 Going on 80 for creating and hosting the event!
Go vote for your favorite entry in Iron Baker!
Hopefully it will be this handsome little devil below: 

Gooey Brownies with a Caramel Pretzel Crust and White Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

I'm entering these little sweet and salty treats in the Iron Baker Challenge over at 20 Going on 80. The secret ingredients were white chocolate and caramel. Head over there and check out all of the other fabulous entries that others came up with, then cast your vote for your favorite (voting is closed)!


I adore sweet and salty combinations! And I was so impressed with myself that I pulled this off. It was my first time making caramel and mousse from scratch. Sure I used a box mix for brownies, but so what. In doing so I saved time, energy, and dirty dishes. Plus I think that boxed brownies taste delicious, so I just jazzed them up with a buttery caramel pretzel crust. Perfection!

Since the mousse needs to chill for awhile, that's your starting point.

Melt some white chocolate in a double-boiler along with a little water and Frangelico liqueur. It smells heavenly. Set aside and let cool.

Whisk cream until soft peaks form. I started with an electric whisk, then decided a hand whisk was better. Fold cream into cooled chocolate mixture. Then whisk egg whites and fold in as well. Now stick that mousse baby in the fridge and let it chill out.

Make your own caramel sauce! It's much easier than I thought. Start with sugar and water in a pot over medium-high heat. As much as you are going to want to...do not stir the sugar! If there is sugar on the side of the pot, brush it down with a wet pastry brush.

The sugar will turn to a deep amber color after about five minutes. Once it reaches the desired color, turn off the heat.

Add the cream to the caramelized sugar and whisk until smooth. My sugar clumped up at this step, so I turned the heat back on low and kept whisking until the clumps were gone. Let the caramel cool.

I bought these half-pint mason jars at the grocery store. I greased them with some margarine, but cooking spray would work just fine.

Break pretzels apart in the food processor. Then mix with melted butter and some of the caramel sauce you just made. Make sure you have a big bite for quality control purposes. Then add some to each jar to form a crust layer for the brownies. 

Mix up brownie batter according to directions. I added about 1/4 cup batter to each jar.

And this is how full of gooey brownies the jars came out of the oven with. You might wanna add a little less batter to leave more room for creamy mousse.

Finish by piping white chocolate mousse on top, then drizzling with caramel. If you want chocolate curls, just run a vegetable peeler along the edge of a chocolate bar. 

Now grab a tall glass of milk and hunker down until you finish this rich dessert.

Caramel Pretzel Brownies with White Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

Ingredients
For Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For Brownies:
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 2 1/2 cups pretzels
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 5 Tbsp. caramel sauce

For Mousse:
  • 8 oz. white chocolate baking bar, broken into pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg whites
Directions

Start by making the mousse. Melt white chocolate, Frangelico, and water over a double-boiler (just a glass bowl balanced over a pot of boiling water). Continue stirring until smooth, then set aside to cool completely.

Once chocolate mixture has cooled, add cream to a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold cream into white chocolate. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours (stick in freezer if you're in a hurry).

While mousse is chilling, make the caramel sauce. Bring sugar and water to a boil, over medium-high heat, in a heavy saucepan. Don't stir! While boiling, wipe sugar down off of the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush. Continue to boil (without stirring!) for about 5 minutes, until sugar reaches a dark golden color. Turn off heat and immediately add cream, whisking until combined and smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken.

Grease 10 half-pint mason jars with butter or cooking spray then place on a cookie sheet. Pulse pretzels in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add pretzels pieces to a small bowl, stir in melted butter and caramel sauce. Add pretzel mixture to the bottom of the greased jars (about a heaping tablespoon in each jar). 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix brownie batter according to box instructions. Divide brownie batter evenly among jars (about 1/4 cup batter in each). Bake for about 35 minutes, or until brownies have set, but are still a bit gooey. Set aside to cool.

Once the mousse has set and the brownies have cooled, it's time to assemble these little beauties. Pipe the white chocolate mousse onto the brownies. Finish with a drizzle of the caramel sauce and some dark chocolate shavings. 

Final step: pour a tall glass of ice cold milk (you're gonna need it when eating one of these sweet and salty treats).

Thanks to my favorite guy for making such beautiful dark chocolate curls!


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These are too good not to share. I'll be sharing this recipe at The DIY DreamerMommy By Day Crafter By Night, Uncommon DesignsBe Colorful, Skip to My Lou, An Original Belle, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Something Swanky, Crafty Scrappy Happy, 52 Mantels, Live Laugh Rowe, Crazy for Crust, The 36th Avenue, 30 Handmade Days, Night Owl Crafting, Somewhat Simple, Not Just a Housewife, Shine on Fridays, House of Hepworths, The Shabby Nest, Creation Corner, WhipperberryCraftionary, Goings on in Texas, and Crumbs and Chaos.

Thanks Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for featuring my sweet and salty treats!

And thank you Ashton at Something Swanky for featuring these guys as well!



Mousse au chocolat

29 comments:

  1. oh yum! this looks delicious! popping over from 20 going on 80 and am voting for this! (you do send one of these to everyone who votes right?) ;)

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    Replies
    1. If they traveled well, I would! :) I actually have some extras and need to run them over to a friends house or something, because there is no way I can eat them all. Thanks so much for the vote Rhiannon!

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  2. Wow that looks fantastic!!

    Maysem @ odetoinspiration.wordpress.com

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  3. Oh my goodness those look insanely delicious! Love a little sweet and salty together! Thanks for linking up with us this week!

    Take care,

    Trish

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  4. Holy cow, these look so super fabulous I can't even stand it. I want to eat all of them! I'm so glad I found you at Something Swanky. I'd love for you to join my linky, Crazy Sweet Tuesday sometime!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dorothy! I headed over and shared this with one day left of your linky party. :) I couldn't wait. I'll definitely have to become a regular at Crazy Sweet Tuesday. Glad you stopped by!

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  5. Replies
    1. It did go well together. I just love anything sweet and salty. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  6. This LOOKS soo GOOD!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. New follower! :)

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    1. Yay thanks for following Heather! I just popped over to a couple of your blogs and you have adorable children. I just love your family photos.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks and believe me it was! So much so that I had to quickly take them to share with family before I consumed them all myself! That caramel pretzel crust gets me every time.

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  8. Wow!! Those look yummy!! I'll have to add this to my recipe book! :) I love sweet and salty combo's too! :)

    I hope you'll share this with my "Unveil Your Genius" Link party!
    http://taylornorris.blogspot.com/2012/03/unveil-your-genius-link-party_15.html

    Happy Weekend!
    PS...I voted for you! :)

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    Replies
    1. I sure will head over there and share it. :) Thank you so much for voting for me Taylor!

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    2. You are welcome!! Thanks for linking up! :)

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  9. Wow. How great does that look? !!! I am definitely keeping this one. Thanks for sharing on BeColorful
    pam

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  10. This looks ridiculously good :) Thanks so much for linking up at Live Laugh Linky! Hope you'll stop by again this week --- featuring you!

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  11. Congratulations on your big win! This does look mighty scrumptious and I'm not even a big chocolate fan!

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  12. Oh wow...looks absolutely delicious!

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  13. I love the combination of all those flavors and would love to dive right into one right now. Congrats on your win. You deserve it!

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  14. My goodness! The photo alone is making my mouth water! Found this link thanks to the "Unveil Your Genius" I can not wait to make these next week for my fiance! YUM!

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  15. Thanks for linking this up to my Pity Party - it looks delicious! I'll be featuring you tomorrow.

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  16. I love the combination of sweet and salty too! These look truly stunning and I love the idea of individual portions. Pinned!

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    Replies
    1. This was my first time using those tiny mason jars. And I loved that I could just screw the lid on and take them with me to deliver to some of my favorite people. I'll definitely be using them again. Thanks for stopping by!

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Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you!

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