Tuesday, June 1, 2010

White Chocolate Brownies


Did you hear the collective sigh of relief the other day? The June Tuesdays with Dorie recipe picks were posted, and the much anticipated white chocolate brownies were selected by Marthe at Culinary Delights. This may be the single-most lobbied for dessert of all time. Clara didn't pick them when it was her turn, but she waited patiently (well, sort of) for someone else to pick them. Enter Marthe and our first pick for June.

I'm glad there was a photo of these in the book because I would have been crushed if I hadn't known what they were supposed to look like. For me the word "brownie" evokes feelings of anticipation for a treat like this


or these

Like, aren't brownies that don't have chocolate called blondies? I guess not. Because these have not a whisper of chocolate (that is, chocolate made from cacao) and Dorie still calls them brownies. I've learned to expect the unexpected from Dorie (as with the last recipe we made with white chocolate) so I did not add chocolate to this recipe. Somebody check on Kayte. She may have just fainted.

You may not be able to tell from my photo, but this is a layer of cake made with almond meal, which is topped with meringue before being baked.

I actually read the instructions fully before making the recipe, and knew immediately that flipping a meringue-topped dessert onto any surface and then re-flipping it was a guaranteed fail for your klutzy friend (me). So I used a large piece of parchment to line the pan.

My one mistake was to use pasteurized egg whites instead of cracking three eggs and separating them. We eat a ton of egg white omelettes and I always have a surplus of yolks. The pasteurized whites didn't beat up as nicely as I would have liked even though my bowl and beaters were scrupulously clean and grease-free.

OK, so maybe there was one other tiny mistake. I didn't want to buy premium white chocolate so I used the last of a bag of Choc-au-Lait chips (yeah, yeah, I know they don't melt as well but it worked out in the end). They finished in first place in the Cook's Illustrated white baking chip taste test so I figured they'd be good. Plus they were already in my pantry.

The P&Qs showed that these babies needed more time in the oven to bake completely, so I baked them for 48 minutes. The parchment liner made it hard to tell if the brownies were pulling away from the sides of the pan, but the meringue topping was crackly.

These were tasty but just not my thing. They lasted a good long time at work, which is pretty unusual. Still, I'm glad these finally were picked as I know lots of my fellow TWD bakers loved them. You can find them all here.

Thanks, Marthe, for hosting us this week and making Clara happy with your pick! If you'd like the recipe, Marthe will have it posted for you.

29 comments:

natalia said...

Ciao ! Yours look nice though ! I'm still thinking about how I should bake them ! Love

Romaine said...

Your picture looks perfect (and I'm glad there was a picture in the book also)even if you weren't all that impressed.

I had the same feeling about flipping and the meringue. Seemed like a recipe for disaster.

chocolatechic said...

I didn't make it as written, but did my own thing.

No fruit, no meringue.

Yours look wonderful.

Karen said...

Your picture does look lovely and thanks to your comment in the P&Q I used wax paper to line my pan. I had no intention of flipping these out of the pan because I knew I would destroy them! :) Sorry they weren't your thing.. I think a lot of people felt the same way.

Christina and Jacob said...

I'm surprised that they lasted long at work. Compared to my half-baked gooey mess, yours look great!

cindy said...

I had fun with this recipe. So many variations!

Sweet and Savory said...

The "cake" (did not feel like a brownie) looked like a cake and to me, it tasted like a cake but I did like it. I did not make the meringue but made a strawberry liquidy topping to pour over it.

The test will be if my class likes these.

I will take brownies, the second way, you showed them but I liked this as a cake.

Di said...

"Somebody check on Kayte." Lol, Leslie! Best line of the post. =) Great post. I'm glad that you got these to turn out reasonably well.

mikejdunlap said...

I agree -that photo is what they SHOULD look like - amazing... mine were somewhat of a disaster but great fun to make (and experiment with)! Blondies they are!

mike
TWD blog
web.me.com/mikejdunlap

Tia said...

pictures are always good :)

i changed the recipe into Salty Sweet Brown Butter Frosted Milk Choc Brownies! yours look yummy.

alvarosa said...

I love the look of sligthly cracking merengue!
The white chocolate wasn't very dominant, so it would eventually have been no problem including it.

Becky said...

Yes, thank goodness for the picture in the book. I was so confused too because of the 'brownie' name.

yours looks dang good. i love hearing about Cook's Illustrated recommendations. I must have missed that article. I'll check that brand out.

Heather said...

I know what you mean about them being called a brownie! Not exactly what you imagine. That weren't my favourite Dorie recipe either but still it was fun to make them.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I'm glad they were picked and it's behind us, but I'm not sure what CB is going to do with herself now! Your "brownies" look better than mine and better than Dorie's, but I can totally understand your verdict. BTW my meringue was perfect in the bowl but it still flattened to nothing when I spread it on the brownies.

Cakelaw said...

Yours turned out well Leslie - they look great.

Marthe said...

Sorry you weren't too crazy about these, they look amazing though!! Thank you for baking along with me!

Tracey said...

Haha you crack me up Leslie :) Fun post. Your photo of this "brownie" is lovely - the meringue looks almost like the crackly crust on chocolate brownies. I thought these were good, but definitely not what I was expecting and probably not a repeat.

Pamela said...

Not my thing, either. A brownie should be, well...brown!! :o)

Katrina said...

Yours look perfect.
Too funny about Kayte. I always think of her just about every time I do something with chocolate!
I'll take one of them dark nutty brownies, please!

Liz said...

You're right, this is the most lobbied-for dessert of all time! Poor CB, what'll she do now? :) And I know what you mean, pasteurized egg whites never whip up like real egg whites. But yours look good! Too bad you didn't love them.

Piggy said...

Your brownies are gorgeous, sure look like the picture in the book! Sorry that you are not crazy over them though...

margot said...

The white chocolate brownie looks good, but the "real brownies" look great!

I clicked over to the Cook's Illustrated link and I'm happy to know I use one of their recommended white chocolates (the E. Guittard wafers).

Lauryn said...

They look great!! I skipped the meringue, but so funny, I baked mine for exactly 48 min as well!! I happened to really, really like these! Sorry you didn't love em!

Sam said...

HEAVEN!

Mimi said...

Not my favorite either, but the recipe does have potential for tweaking.
Mimi

Valerie said...

Your 'brownies' look perfect! I think anyone who braved the meringue deserves some adulation, especially after reading about the baking issue. Nicely done.

I didn't use high quality white chocolate either. After 2 attempts at melting it, I gave up and just mixed in the seperated buttery liquid. :P

Kayte said...

Yes, I did figure there was a way you would somehow chocolate-up these brownies...a drizzle or something! LOL. I so wanted these to work out as I love all the ingredients and yours look lovely. Mine were soggy in the middle, fell apart from transport from pan to plate, and the meringue caved in...but you know what, the swimmer and his friends ate them all and declared them "Good enough." Teen boys will eat anything. I need to try them again and see if I can get them right, they just sound and look so good. You and your chocolate!

jillbert said...

They look lovely, but not as tempting as the photos of actual chocolate brownies! Mine turned out OK, but they weren't really my thing either.

Joy said...

Your brownies are gorgeous! So pretty and light!