Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, by far. I like it EVEN more than Christmas because you don’t have to worry about buying presents just yet, my birthday is always less than two weeks away, and the day after Thanksgiving is not nearly as depressing as the day after Christmas (excluding the five seconds you decide to step on the scale)… December 26th might actually be my least favorite day of the year.
I was on the fence about making a Thanksgiving spread this year because my oven is so inconsistent in temperature and so small that I burn my knuckles every time I remove a cookie sheet, so roasting a ten-pound turkey seemed rather doubtful… Did I also mention that I only have a four-burner stove and no microwave? Ahh, the joys of cooking in European sized kitchens… But I went ahead with the ordeal anyway because really, who lets a small oven prevent them from celebrating their favorite holiday of the year??
In order to keep my oven unoccupied on Thursday to roast the turkey, I planned an elaborate cooking schedule for Wednesday and Thursday so that I could prepare all my side dishes and desserts in advance and execute my Thanksgiving dinner with minimal hiccups. Suuuurprise! I’m crazy. I actually think creating a cooking schedule for dinner parties is completely necessary for any hostess… Nobody wants to be the hostess that looks like train wreck when guests arrive because they spent every last minute cooking and failed to get ready! As my beloved Ina Garten says, a hostess should always greet guests with a drink in hand and never have anything that has to be cooked while the guests are there!
We are planning on inviting eight of our closest friends over for the holiday and in my opinion, there is nothing worse than not having enough food. I can’t really roast a larger turkey since I’m constricted by my oven, but I am making plenty of side dishes and desserts, which is kind of the best part anyway! For dessert, I was planning on making traditional Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie, and Apple Pie… But I realized I only have ONE pie dish. Pumpkin Pie is kind of a non-negotiable, Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie can be made into more of a tart, and Apple Pie will be made into a twist… Salted Butter Apple Galette!
I got the idea of making an Apple Galette after one of my best friends asked me for Thanksgiving dessert suggestions that didn’t include pie… Who doesn’t like pie?! I suggested she make an Apple Galette or Apple Pie Biscuits so guests could still get the flavors of the traditional Apple Pie in a non-pie dessert. Luckily for me, neither of these Apple Pie twists involve a pie dish so Thanksgiving was saved!
It’s a simple, non-fuss, and delicious dessert that is made extra special with the addition of browned butter… and we all know how much I love browned butter. The best part is, you can bake and store the galette up to TWO days in advance! All you need to do is let the galette cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic, store at room temperature, and reheat slightly before serving. Obviously, the sooner you consume it, the better, but it’s something nice to not think about when cooking a huge feast for Thanksgiving!
Salted-Butter Apple Galette recipe from Bon Appétit:
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend
¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pound baking apples (such as Pink Lady; about 2 large), scrubbed, sliced ⅛” thick
3 tablespoons dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
- Whisk sugar, salt, and 1 cup flour in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces remaining. Drizzle egg over butter mixture and mix gently with a fork until dough just comes together.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (a few dry spots are okay). Form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Place butter in a small saucepan and scrape in vanilla seeds; add pod. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (be careful not to burn), 5–8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and remove pod.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a rough 14×10” rectangle about ⅛” thick (alternatively, roll out into a 12” round). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange apples on top, overlapping and leaving a 1½” border. Brush apples with brown butter and sprinkle with muscovado sugar. Lift edges of dough over apples, tucking and overlapping as needed to keep rectangular shape.
- Beat egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and brush crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake, rotating once, until apples are soft and juicy and crust is golden brown, 40–50 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet before slicing.
- Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!
My all-time favorite desserts will always be chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, preferably served together, but tiramisu is definitely a close runner-up. The best tiramisu I’ve consumed in Italy is at our good friend, Alfie’s restaurant, Trattoria Baldini in Florence. The only issue is that everything on the menu is utterly amazing and I have to consciously remember to save room for tiramisu at the end and even when I “save room” for dessert, I usually leave the restaurant in a state of pain because I am so full… But I’m never disappointed!
Whenever I order tiramisu at other restaurants I’m always… underwhelmed. There is such a fine line of too much or too little mascarpone cream or maybe it’s just too dense, the coffee flavor isn’t as pronounced as I would like, or the ladyfingers are too soft and mushy.
So enough was enough, I’m in Italy, I’m asking Italians for recommendations, and I’m making tiramisu at home. ‘Scuse me, Tiramisu Cake… I’m just not willing to compete with Trattoria Baldini on this one.
If you like tiramisu, this cake is for you. It’s a bit of a process to make and assemble but it is well worth it. Might I say it even rivals the best tiramisu I’ve ever had?? It’s a simple sponge cake cut into four layers (this is a must!), soaked in an espresso syrup, layered with mascarpone cream, and then decorated with cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, and savoiradi biscuits. I made the cake the night before serving so the cake and the biscuits were able to soak up all of that mascarpone and espresso goodness and oh, my goodness, it was delicious.
Despite the 6 hours it took to prepare, this cake will definitely make an appearance at our household over the holidays!
Tiramisu Cake recipe from Call Me Cupcake:
2 ½ deciliters (~1 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 deciliters (~1 cup and 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 deciliter (~¼ cup and 2 tablespoons) milk
50 grams butter
2 deciliters (~¾ cup) espresso
½ deciliter (~3 tablespoons) coffee liqueur
1 deciliter granulated sugar
250 grams of mascarpone cheese
2 deciliters(~¾ cup) heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 deciliter(~¼ cup and 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grated or Chopped Dark Chocolate (~100 grams)
Savoiardi Biscuits (~200 grams)
- To make the sponge cake, preheat oven to 175°C (350 F). Butter and flour a round 20 centimeter cake pan or two round 20 centimeter cake pans (just make sure to cut into four equal parts).
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Gradually add the milk mixture and vanilla extract to the batter. Mix the flour and baking powder in another bowl and then add it to the batter. Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- Put the pan on the lower rack in the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes (15-25 minutes, if using two pans) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto parchment paper. Let cool for a while and then split the cake into 3-4 pieces.
- To make the espresso syrup, brew 2 deciliters of strong espresso. Mix with coffee liqueur and sugar in a saucepan and let boil until all the sugar has melted. Let cool.
- To make the mascarpone cream, mix egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl in a double boiler over simmering water. Mix constantly so the mixture until the mixture starts to thicken. Be careful so you don’t make scrambled eggs! Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a dry, clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- Mix the mascarpone and the egg yolk mixture. Add the whipped cream and vanilla. Gently fold down the whipped egg whites. Put it in the fridge for a while.
- To assemble the cake, use a spring form pan slightly bigger than the cake, about 23-25 centimeters.
- Soak all the cake layers in coffee syrup.
- Start by putting the first layer in the bottom of the spring form, then put savoiardi biscuits all the way around the cake. Evenly spread out the mascarpone cream on the first layer. Repeat the same step until you have used all layers. Finish off with a layer of mascarpone cream on top and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours
- Before serving, powder with cocoa powder and garnish with grated chocolate.
Let’s get baked.
Tony’s friend, Timmy is studying abroad in Amsterdam and stayed with us this past weekend and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to bake a cake! One heck of a cake, might I add… Let me explain.
You see, Timmy’s parents are both bakers and chocolatiers… like they owned their own chocolate factory at one point. How amazing must his childhood have been?! He is literally like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… except he probably didn’t have to sleep in a gigantic bed with his parents and grandparents.
I wanted to bake something that even a modern-day Charlie Bucket would be giddy about and I knew exactly what I was going to bake and it had NOTHING to do with chocolate. For as long as I’ve known my best friend, Chelsea, I’ve wanted to make Sticky. Date. Pudding. She implanted the idea in my head about five years ago and claimed it as “the best dessert ever,” and I’ve wanted to make it ever since.
I became a true believer in dates after making Giada’s Goat Cheese and Mascarpone Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto for Thanksgiving one year. I was obsessed with the sweetness, softness, and flavor… and those were just the regular old dates you buy in bulk from Costco! Since then, if dates are on a menu, I order them, I eat them plain or stuffed with pecans or walnuts, wrapped in bacon, blended into almond milk or coconut milkshakes, or chopped into salads and couscous. I simply can’t get enough of them.
There are dried dates and there are soft, semi-dry, and dry fresh dates and it makes a HUGE difference depending on what you are cooking/baking. For Sticky Date Pudding, make sure to pick out the freshest, softest dates available so they almost melt into the cake… Mmmm.
I’m telling you, this pudding cake will blow your mind and it is absolutely perfect for the cold days ahead. It is comforting, warm, light, gooey and smothered with buttery toffee sauce. Just make sure to plan accordingly because as soon as this cake is done baking and you’ve drowned it in caramel-toffee sauce, you have to eat it while it’s still warm! No such thing as delayed gratification here. You’re welcome.
Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce recipe from Ina Garten:
Sticky Date Pudding:
1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
2 teaspoons baking soda
8 ounces butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 ¼ tablespoons baking powder
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar (8 ounces)
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-round cake pans or 20 muffin tins.
- Place the dates in large saucepan with 3 ½ cups cold water. Bring to boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Then leave to simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the baking soda (which will cause the mixture to bubble up).
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt and mix briefly to give a lumpy dough.
- Next, add the warm date mixture in two batches. Scrape down the sides of bowl in between mixing. The dough will now be quite watery but don’t worry! Finally add the baking powder (this will bubble up also).
- Pour the batter evenly into the two pans or muffin tins. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes for cake pans and about 20 minutes for muffin tins. Test if they are cooked with a small knife or toothpick, it should come out clean when cakes are done.
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and well blended.
- When the cakes are done, poke little holes all over with toothpick, this will enable the sauce to be absorbed more easily. Pour the caramel sauce over cakes while both are still warm and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out upside-down onto serving plates (the bottom is the most sticky bit!).
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
In the summer of 2010, I was responsible for baking 300+ cupcakes for my sister’s wedding… And Oh, My Gosh– what a nightmare. Keep in mind, this was before I started The Bite-Sized Baker blog, and as much as I loved baking back then, I still wasn’t regularly baking and I didn’t know many of the techniques and sciences behind baking… Not like I know nearly any of it now, but I’d like to think I know a bit more!
Baking the actual cupcakes was easy enough, all I needed to do was double or triple a recipe and then voilà. The real problem lay within making the frosting. I couldn’t tell you how many POUNDS and POUNDS of butter and confectioners’ sugar I wasted in my attempts to perfect frosting. Scratch that, I wasn’t even going for perfect frosting, I was simply trying to make frosting that was fluffy enough to go on a cupcake.
I don’t even remember exactly what type of frosting I was making, but I do remember looking at my frosting and thinking it looked like curdled soup, greasy, or just plain wimpy and runny. When I would try to save it by adding more confectioners’ sugar, it would become to0 sickly sweet to eat, even for the sweetest tooth. And don’t even get me started on my cupcake decorating skills back then… Thank goodness my sister, Caitlin, is pretty much the most easy-going person I’ve ever met and the furthest thing from a bridezilla or else it would have been a REAL disaster.
These days, cupcakes and frosting are much less intimidating and I actually ENJOY decorating a pretty little cupcake from time to time… I had a little pumpkin puree leftover from when I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and wanted to use my mini cupcake pan so I decided to keep it simple with a dark chocolate-pumpkin cake and topped it with Brown Sugar Frosting, which is basically just a sweet, creamy, buttery delight. I garnished the cupcakes with extra buttered pecans I had made earlier from the lovely, Half Baked Harvest. If you’re feeling extra adventurous on the cupcake front, you can make her insane Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Buttered Pecan Frosting, but the pecans are delicious on their own if you just want a quick and easy treat!
Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe from Garnish and Glaze:
1½ cups flour
⅔ cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
Brown Sugar Frosting recipe from Annie’s Eats:
1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line muffin tins with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a small bowl combine buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. While mixing on low, alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture in thirds. When evenly combined, pour into muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- When cool enough to handle, remove cupcakes onto wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
- Frost the cupcakes as desired.
Normally when it gets cold, I curse the gods, eat my weight in baked goods, and go into hibernation mode… Chicago will do that to you. But it’s a whole other story in Florence. The weather has dropped 15 degrees overnight and the Florentines are prematurely dressed in winter jackets, hats, and scarves, street vendors are selling roasted chestnuts on every corner, and the Mercato Centrale is lush with pumpkins, albeit green, fresh truffles, porcini mushrooms, wild boar, lamb, and pomegranates.
After a recent trip to Dubai, where I had my first encounter with an authentic Lebanese feast (complete with hummus, fattoush salad, tabouleh, labneh, garlic paste, kibbeh, kibbeh nayeh, fatayer, grape leaves, cheese rakakat, meat sambousek, potato harra, kabsa rice, shish taouk, lamb kefta, salt baked sea bass, homemade baklava, and pistachio ice cream), I was inspired to take my newfound wisdom home with me and attempt to make Lamb Kefta in Italy now that lamb is in season again!
But first, a quick story of how I met and befriended my butcher, Piero, and his son, Giacamo…
When I first moved to Florence I was on a mission to find minced lamb for THIS Jerusalem recipe. I went up to just about every butcher in the Mercato Centrale and asked in my broken Italian if they had ground lamb, which is apparently a very uncommon request in Italy, and NO ONE was willing to help me, except Piero— there were a lot of hand gestures and pointing involved. He was the only butcher in the entire Mercato that was willing to hear me out, change out his blades, and grind lamb for me and he’s the only butcher I will go to ever since.
Every day Piero and Giacamo encourage me to practice my Italian, which is still terribly broken, despite Rosetta Stone and private lessons, I share my baked goods, they teach me new cooking techniques, and they give Louie heaps of raw meat and bones for me to take home. Now that lamb has come into season again, every day Piero shows off his lamb and asks if I want to buy lamb, which I decline and say “Domani!” Well, on Tuesday, I finally asked for some lamb to make Lamb Kefta.
When ordering lamb for Lamb Kefta, make sure to ask your butcher to use mostly lamb shoulder and a bit of lamb neck that’s been trimmed so it doesn’t end up too tough. Another rule of thumb for making Lamb Kefta, is for every kilo of meat you’re using, chop up half a kilo of onions, a quarter of a kilo of parsley, and season to your preference. Your hands are the best tool to mix your lamb to make sure all the ingredients are distributed evenly, but make sure you don’t overmix the lamb so it’s not tough! When making your skewers, roll out your meat in a small log about one inch wide so that your kefta is tender and caramelized. I served my Lamb Kefta alongside tzatziki, roasted eggplants with za’atar, buttermilk sauce, and pomegranate seeds and a simple fattoush salad BUT it would also be delicious with some warm pitas!
There may not be any trees here that’s leaves change colors, but darn-nit, does this city know how to inspire a fall menu using only the best seasonal produce Tuscany has to offer! Although this dinner menu isn’t Italian in the least, it is inspired by ingredients from the Mercato Centrale and our most recent trip to Dubai!
Lamb Kefta by The Bite-Sized Baker:
1 kilogram of minced lamb (¾ lamb shoulder, ¼ lamb neck, trimmed)
500 grams of minced yellow onion
250 grams of fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- To make the lamb kefta, combine minced lamb, onion, parsley, garlic, and dried spices in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until incorporated, but do not overmix!
- Place mixture in the fridge for one hour to let flavors meld together.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Remove from the fridge and divide mixture into 16 portions. Shape each portion around a skewer into a log that is about 6-inches long and 1-inch wide.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat register 160 degrees F, turning once.
- Serve with tzatziki, tahini sauce, or lemon wedges, if desired.
I used to love everything about Halloween; the changing of seasons, dressing up, eating candy corn, and generally just pretending like I’m 10 years old again… But as I approach the ripe age of 25 years old, I find myself less excited than ever about the upcoming holiday… Something about drinking Jungle Juice out of a Solo cup in a scantily clad Tree Hugger costume just isn’t as enticing as it once was…
I’m sure my indifference and lack of excitement for the upcoming holiday is due to the fact that I haven’t been able to spend over $200 at Target on Halloween decor and candy; which would be pretty difficult considering Target and Halloween-themed candy doesn’t exist in Italy… And the only pumpkins they sell are fresh and of the dark green variety (surely nothing out of a can) and the closest Pumpkin Spice Latte I can get my hands on is in Monaco…
I can get over the lack of Halloween spirit here, but I’m not willing to go cold turkey and quit my obsession with Libby’s just yet… Fortunately, I planned ahead and asked my parents to bring several cans of Libby’s Pumpkin when they visited a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, all my other American good requests, like Chipotle seasoning, brown sugar, and ice-cube trays, weighed down my mom’s suitcase and she could only bring two cans of pumpkin! What’s a girl to bake?!
With only two cans of pumpkin puree I’ve had to be very diplomatic on what to bake with my limited resources. Images of Pumpkin Scones, Doughnuts with Caramel Glaze, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding have continuously popped into my head and while I’m sure all these creations would be quite delightful, nothing compares to a classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread is the quintessential fall dessert, in my opinion, at least, and since I haven’t posted a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe in TWO years, I decided to revisit and explore some new recipes. I found the original recipe on What’s Gaby Cooking (I always have great results with all of her recipes) and made a few slight adjustments to the types of sugar and flours used. The result was a delicious bread with a tender crumb and almost a caramelized-like crust due to the addition of brown sugar. It’s a simple and comforting recipe that only gets more flavorful and moist with time… If you can resist eating all of it that day! So whether you’re excited for Halloween or you’re like me, this bread is surely to appease!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon McCormick ground cloves
1 teaspoon McCormick allspice
½ teaspoon McCormick pumpkin pie spice
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup milk chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 loaf pans.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- In a mixer combine the pumpkin, oil, and water on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low until everything is just combined. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula.
- Transfer batter to 2 greased loaf pans. Top with extra chocolate chips if desired and bake for about 55-60 minutes, until a knife is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Remove the loaf pans from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing and slicing.
While Tony was driving to Copenhagen with a few of our friends to compete in a 24-Hour CrossFit Throwdown last weekend, Louie and I spent a rigorous 48 hours of relaxing, pampering ourselves, watching Meryl Streep movies and Sex and the City re-runs, and baking… A much better alternative to driving 34 hours, in my opinion.
The first thing I made was Coffee Meringue Brownies from Milk and Honey. The first time I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it and it’s been bookmarked on my computer for quite some time now… I love coffee, I’ve just recently become meringue-obsessed, and I love anything and everything that requires a blowtorch. Unfortunately, since I don’t typically carry corn flour and coffee liqueur in my pantry, I’ve put off making this recipe until last weekend and I am so happy I finally made it!
The brownies are simple, not too sweet, with a fudge-like texture, but the real show stopper is the Coffee Meringue– it’s like eating a coffee-spiked marshmallow. Since I’m a coffee fanatic, I added an additional teaspoon of coffee liqueur so the coffee flavor was more pronounced and the result is somewhat comparable to s’mores spiked with coffee. Not a bad combination at all.
The only thing I regret about this recipe was making it on a Saturday afternoon when Tony didn’t get home until Monday… and it’s also a slightly difficult dessert to transport so I couldn’t just give it away like I usually do… So I ate brownies for more meals than I care to admit and I eventually ended up throwing
half most of it away, for fear that I would eat the entire recipe on my own.
Coffee Meringue Brownies ever so slightly adapted from Milk and Honey:
200 grams dark chocolate, chopped
250 grams unsalted butter
150 grams caster sugar
175 grams light brown sugar
200 grams cake flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (I used Tia Maria)
4 egg whites
220 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon corn flour
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons coffee liqueur
- To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 160 C. Lightly grease a 13cm x 37cm loose-bottomed tart tin and set aside.
- Combine the butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
- Combine the sugars, eggs, and coffee liqueur in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon and when the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and cocoa powder and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Spread evenly in the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set. Let cool completely on a rack.
- To make the coffee meringue, put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form then gradually add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is glossy and thick. Add the corn flour, vinegar and coffee liqueur and whisk to combine. Spoon the meringue over the cooled brownie and blast it with a kitchen blowtorch (or broil in the oven on high for a minute), until toasted.