I just felt like doing something fancy, ok?? Then again, I also never want to get out of my pajama pants, or even out of bed for that matter. The result? I made this decadent craziness and drank wine out of jars with ice cubes in it for like 4 hours, and then passed out after watching an entire season of Preacher. It was my favorite kind of day.
This dessert definitely has a lot of components. Brownie, shortbread, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, salted caramel sauce, strawberry gelato, fresh strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries, fresh basil.... It's kinda ridiculous. The most important thing is that the whole thing gets topped with finishing salt. Otherwise it really does get too sweet. This is the feedback I received, HOWEVER, I am in love with the salted caramel sauce and in my opinion, if the whole thing simply gets covered in that, then nothing could be better. So pick and choose which amounts of which components you like most, get your pajamas ready, and let's get cooking!
Butter Count: 30 Tbsp
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch cubes
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt a few times. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form.
3. Heavily grease and flour a baking sheet. Use a rolling pin to roll the crumbs into a dense 1-cm layer. Use a fork to poke holes into the dough all over.
4. Bake about 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Cut the shortbread into 2x4-inch rectangles and remove them from the pan while still warm, careful not to bend or snap them.
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup baking cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Mix the sugar, butter, and water in a bowl using a fork. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to stir until well combined.
3. Sift together the flour, baking cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the sifted mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine until there are no lumps.
4. Spread the mixture into a heavily greased and floured baking dish. Bake about 25 minutes or until a a knife can be inserted into the center and removed slightly sticky. Cool completely in the baking dish before cutting into 2x4-inch rectangles and removing to a plate.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1. Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the sugar with 1/4 cup of cold water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar is deep amber, about 10 minutes.
3. Gently warm the heavy cream over low heat, and when the sugar is the desired darkness (careful not to burn it!!!), whisk the warm cream into the sugar.
NOTE: Be careful because it may splatter everywhere.
4. If there are any lumps, strain the mixture into a bowl, then mix in the butter and salt.
5. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of the caramel sauce onto each of the shortbread rectangles. Place a brownie on each of the shortbreads. Transfer the remaining caramel sauce into a piping bag with any small tip.
1 cup fresh strawberries
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup fresh basil
1. Toss the strawberries and sugar in a pan over high heat until the sugar is melted and the strawberry juices begin to sizzle.
2. Puree the mixture with the basil a blender, then strain it into a bowl to remove the seeds. Transfer the sauce into a piping bag with any small tip.
3. Drizzle criss-crosses of both the caramel and the strawberry sauce over the brownies.
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp caster sugar
1. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks in a stand mixer.
2. Add the sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks.
3. Transfer to a piping bag with a large tip.
1 recipe THIS GELATO
Fresh strawberries, chopped
Freeze dried strawberries, store-bought
1. Place each shortbread-brownie tower thing onto a separate plate.
2. Sprinkle finishing salt over each dessert.
3. Place a single scoop of gelato on each dessert.
4. Strategically place chopped fresh strawberries, a dusting of freeze dried strawberries, dollops of whipped cream, and fresh basil leaves around the dessert.
5. If the dish is still too sweet, drizzle with additional caramel sauce and sprinkle with additional finishing salt.