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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake

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Did you know that when you beat egg whites to make meringue, and flavor it with peppermint extract, it tastes like toothpaste? Now that I've grossed you out, rest assured...it's not a bad thing...and I'm only talking about the pre-baked meringue! There's just something about the foaminess that's reminiscent of brushing your teeth.
This was actually my first time making meringue and I was surprised by how easy it was. It did deflate quite a bit after it came out of the oven, but it was still a beautiful topper for the brownie cake. Although it's called a brownie cake, I'd say it's more brownie than cake, especially in terms of texture. The brownie is dense with a fudgy center, my preferred type of brownie. The peppermint chocolate meringue offsets the richness of the brownie and makes for a fancy dessert (that couldn't be easier to make!).
This will feed at least 12, if not more. Thin slices are all you need to satisfy! This was best the day it was made, but it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Next time you're craving a brownie, break out the egg whites and make this brownie cake. Can't get into the peppermint flavoring? Just omit from the meringue and make as otherwise directed!

One Year Ago: Mini Cheesecakes
Two Years Ago: Homemade Dog Treats
Three Years Ago: Almond M&M Bird's Nest Cookies

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake
from Everyday Food December 2012

for the brownies-
-cooking spray
-1 stick unsalted butter
-8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 tsp fine salt
-3 large eggs
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

for the meringue-
-4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-4 large egg whites
-cream of tartar
-1 cup superfine sugar (I ran granulated sugar through the food processor)
-1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1. To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350F and spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Set a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir frequently until almost melted. Remove bowl from heat and continue stirring until totally melted. Whisk in granulated sugar and salt, followed by the eggs. Gently whisk in flour, just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
3. While brownies are baking, make meringue. Combine chocolate and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk egg whites and a pinch of tartar with a mixer on high until frothy. With the mixer still running, slowly add superfine sugar and continue whisking on high for about 6 minutes, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold in chocolate mixture and peppermint extract.
4. Spread meringue on top of cake with an offset spatula. Bake for 25-27 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned and cracked on top. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the ring. Cool completely before cutting into slices.