Sunday, September 2, 2012

Luxurious Blondies – White chocolate brownies with raspberries and meringue topping

The name says it all. These are a real treat, which I am still in love with, despite my overdose J
What do you get when mixing white chocolate with lots of fresh raspberries and top this moist and chewy texture with soft and golden meringue? You get these to-die-for Blondies!

As Dorie Greenspan puts it in her fantastic baking book*…”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.”

Spot on.

See the full recipe below. It is straight forward and I added in some additional tips, which helped me. Enjoy and try not to overdose, although it will be hard!

White Chocolate Brownies (Blondies)
makes 32 brownies

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

Getting ready
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.
Stella: I would suggest to pre bake this batter for 10min while you prepare the meringue. Once your meringue is done (approx. 10min), pull out the cake pan and top with meringue. Bake fully as directed below.

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.


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