Welcome to a very special edition of Tuesdays with Dorie! You might wonder why this one is so special, well it's because I finally got to pick the recipe! Yay!! But picking one recipe wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, there were still so many good recipes left! With the help from my mom I finally narrowed it down to the White Chocolate Brownies on pages 110 and 111 of Baking from My Home to Yours, which I'm sure pleased CB a lot as she'd been trying to bribe all the members of TWD to vote on the White Chocolate Brownies when we all got to pick the second anniversary recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie last January.
Reading through the P&Q for the brownies I found out that I had picked a recipe that was a bit controversial: lots of talk about good raspberries being difficult to find and very expensive, meringue-haters and problems with undercooked brownies. So you can imagine I really wanted these brownies to work. Unfortunately my first batch came out a disaster: the brownies were still gooey and undercooked after an extra 40 minutes in the oven and the meringue was overcooked and too chewwy.
I decided to give the brownies another try and used blueberries instead since I was out of raspberries. Lack of orange forced me to leave the orange zest out and by now I was also out of almonds so I subbed them with more flour.
In the P&Q Jacque of Daisy Lane Cake suggested to bake the brownies first and then add the meringue, so that's exactly what I did. I lined a cupcake pan with liners and filled 24 liners half full, these were baked for 20 minutes and cooled to room temperature. I then topped them with the meringue and baked them for another 10 minutes: Perfect!
These brownies were delicious, but I must admit that their texture was more cake-like! A tad sweet, but I didn't mind about that: I have major sweet tooth! Don't forget to check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the White Chocolate Brownies!
White Chocolate Brownies
makes 32 brownies
White Chocolate, orange zest and lots of fresh raspberries make these brownies delicious; topping them with meringue makes them glamorous. The cake layer is slender, delightfully dense and both sweet and tart; the meringue is soft and golden. You can call them brownies, but serve them with a swirl of raspberry coulis and they'll be worthy of a black-tie gala.
For the brownies:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup finely ground almonds
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh raspberries
For the meringue:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Butter a 9-x-13-inch pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax 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.
To make the brownies
Whisk together the flour, ground almonds and salt.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of only-just-simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolate and stir frequently until the ingredients are just melted—you don't want them to get so hot that the butter or the white chocolate separates. (White chocolate is finicky, so don't leave the kitchen while it's over the heat—too much heat and it will fall apart or scorch.) Remove the bowl from the pan of water.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the eggs and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until pale and foamy. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer 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 the raspberries evenly over the batter. Set aside while you make the meringue.
To make the meringue
In the cleaned mixer bowl with the (clean) whisk attachment, or in another large bowl with cleaned beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt on medium speed until they are foamy and just turn opaque. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and add the sugar in a slow, steady stream. Whip the whites until they form firm but still glossy peaks.
Gently spread the meringue over the brownie batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the meringue is browned and crackly and the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow to cool to room temperature in the pan.
Cover a cooling rack with a piece of parchment or wax paper, or a silicone baking mat, dust the paper or mat with confectioners' sugar and very gently, so you don't squish the meringue, turn the brownies out onto the rack. Peel away the parchment paper lining and carefully invert the brownies onto a cutting board. Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2¼ x 11½ inches.
Dust the squares with additional confectioners' sugar if you think they need it and serve as is or with Raspberry Coulis
Kept in the pan and covered lightly with plastic wrap, the brownies can be kept at room temperature overnight. The meringue makes these fragile (and unfreezable). If you omit the meringue, you can wrap the brownies airtight and keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 2 months.