It just occurred to me that in all of my birthday festivities, I forgot to have any birthday cake! Birthday beer, birthday shots, birthday food, more birthday beer – all of these things were covered, but somehow cake did not make it into the mix. But I figure +/- a week is within the period during which I can still reasonably say that I’m celebrating my birthday, so I decided to make some brownies tonight when I got home from yoga!
The last time I baked brownies, I thought I was using a recipe for fudgy brownies, but they turned out to be cake-y brownies and I hate cake-y brownies. So this time I used a recipe that was actually called “Fudgy Brownies.” It’s a pretty simple recipe – basically, just put everything that’s bad for you into a pan and bake.
More specifically, the recipe goes something like this: Melt butter & chocolate. Add white sugar. Beat in some eggs. Add vanilla and white flour. Pray for your arteries. Pour it into a pan:
Write blog posting about said brownies while you wait for them to cool.
OK, I just can’t complete this blog posting without actually doing a taste test to let you know how they turned out. Wait here a second, OK?
This blog posting could also be titled: my meringue technique needs some work!
When I was a kid, my mom baked with my sister and I a lot. And many of the best recipes she had came from magazines. To this day, I can’t pass by a free recipe booklet in a grocery store without grabbing it to leaf through, just in case my next great recipe is in it. And that is exactly how I found the recipe for Ghostly Brownies! And, as luck would have it, my work is having a Halloween pot luck tomorrow!
So baking the brownies was a piece of cake, but the meringue ghosts proved to be a challenge. First of all, despite my many years of baking experience, I don’t think I’ve ever made meringue before. I followed the recipe – beat egg whites to form soft peaks, then slowly beat in sugar and keep beating until stiff peaks form. But the stiff peaks – they weren’t forming! A quick Google search revealed two problems: (1) the egg whites should have been at room temperature, while mine were quite cold, and (2) there was no mention of adding cream of tartar (or some other acid) to stabilize the beaten eggs. I couldn’t do anything about the egg temperature, but I threw in some cream of tartar and managed to get peaks – not quite what I’d called “stiff” peaks, but stiffer than soft peaks and it seemed that that was the best I could do.
And that long winded description explains why my meringue ghosts are a little bit, well, flat. And fat. But they are *my* fat flat ghosts.
My ghosts before baking.
And after baking.
And now I just need to make a little sign to go with these: “THESE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GHOSTS! I KNOW, MY MERINGUE TECHNIQUE NEEDS SOME WORK!”
For the record, this is what they were *supposed* to look like:
They’ll be better next time!