Friday, September 3, 2010

Black Bottom Pecan Praline Bars

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Source: Technicolor Kitchen


Black Bottom Pecan Praline Bars

Brownie layer:
56g (2oz) unsweetened chocolate – I used dark (70% cocoa solids)
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (112g) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cold large egg
1/4 cup (35g) all purpose flour

Praline layer:
1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (70g) packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (140g) pecans, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 22cm (9in) square pan* and line the bottom and sides with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter foil as well.
Start with the brownie layer: place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt with a wooden spoon (I prefer to use a silicon spatula). Add the egg. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth, glossy, and beginning to come away from the sides of the bowl, 1-2 minutes. Spread the brownie batter in a thin even layer in the bottom of the lined pan. Set aside.
Now, the praline layer: mix the flour and baking soda together thoroughly and set aside.
Combine the melted butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla, then the flour mixture, and finally the nuts. Drop spoonfuls all over the top of the brownie batter (they will spread and cover the brownies entirely during baking).
Bake until the edges of the topping are well browned and cracked, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 25 bars.

* I used a 20cm (8in) square pan