White Chocolate Brownies

This was probably my first serious flop.  I was very excited to make this recipe because I am not such a fan of chocolate, and I love fruit based desserts.  This also sounded like something unique and not your typical run of the mill cake.  Because I wasn’t going to make these “brownies” dairy I used pareve white chocolate and I wonder if that contributed to the problem.

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of pictures of this recipe because I made it a while ago, before I started blogging and so before I knew what I wanted to photograph.

So all was going well until I had to melt the chocolate.  I made the mistake of letting the chocolate get too hot.  The whole thing separated.  If white chocolate is finicky, then pareve white chocolate is even more so.  The margarine completely separated, but I had no more white chocolate and the stores were closed, so I mixed it really well, let it cool a drop and mixed it really well before I poured it into the batter hoping against all hope that it would work.  It didn’t.

The batter looked fine when it was all mixed and I poured it into the jelly roll pan with no issues.  I then sprinkled cut strawberries on top instead of raspberries because I didn’t have raspberries.  This might have been my next mistake.  As I learned later, all berries can be substituted for each other, except strawberries because they are significantly moister than all other berries.  This moisture affects the consistency of the batter.  Not for nothing do they say that baking is a science.

So, batter is in pan.  On to beating the egg whites.  The first set of whites got overbeaten (never answer the phone when beating egg whites!!!!).  Rocker Dude told me that I need to have a standard of excellence and I should throw them out and start again (did he read the first part of this blog?).  So I tossed them and started again.  The next batch was nicely beaten and I gently spread the egg whites over the batter.  Into the oven it went.

The whole thing is supposed to cook for about half an hour.  Well after half an hour, the brownies were still jiggly.  I was worried because the whites were starting to brown, so I lowered the temperature of the oven and let it cook some more.  After another ten minutes, it looked much better, but to be sure, I lifted the brownies out of the pan, holding them by the edges of the parchment paper.  Guess what happened?  The paper tore and the brownies fell back on their pan, sideways.  The whites completely collapsed and shrunk, no longer covering the surface of the brownies.  I put them back in the pan and promptly sat on the floor about to cry.  Rocker Dude came over and comforted me – or at least tried.  He tried to get me to tell him what I would change next time to fix everything – who wants solutions at a time like that?

So when the brownies cooled, I carefully cut away the unattractive parts and sliced what was left into squares.  The verdict was that they tasted delicious (and we had guests that night – we didn’t mention what happened).  So next time, we try to not drop the cake and hope fully it will turn out better.

It doesn’t look to bad, right?

Have fun with it!

Recipe:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick butter

4 oz. premium-quality white chocolate, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. grated orange zest

4 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh raspberries

Meringue:

3 large egg whites

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Butter a 9×13 inch pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the bottom and sides of the pan with flour; tap out the excess.  Put the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together flour, ground almonds and salt.

In a double boiler, melt the butter and the white chocolate.  be very careful not to over heat the mixture – you don’t want the chocolate or the butter to separate.  White chocolate is finicky so don’t leave it alone.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Add the eggs and beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until pale and foamy.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the speed to low and blend in the melted butter and chocolate.  Still working on low, mix in the dry ingredients, stirring only until they disappear into the batter.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle raspberries evenly over the batter.  Set aside while you make the meringue.

In the cleaned mixer bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt on medium speed until they are foamy and just turn opaque.  Increase the mixer speed and add the sugar in a slow and steady stream.  Whip the whites until they form firm and glossy peaks.

Gently spread the meringue over the batter.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the meringue is browned and crackly and the brownies pull away from the side of the pan. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow to cool.

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