Classic Chocolate Brownies

After a month of making all those macarons, it was time to make something a little easier.

Brownies! Nothing fancy here but oh-so-good. I was going to put in espresso powder but for the life of me I have no idea where I put my jar of said powder after those macarons down there. No harm in a pan of good old fashioned brownies though and I realized that I didn’t even have a frill free brownie post on here.

photo 3Even though they weren’t fancy schmancy, they certain did not last long at all in our house…

photo 2These guys are the perfect balance between fudge-y and cake-y and with a little dusting of powdered sugar, they looked the part, too!

photo 1Classic Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from how to cook everything

Makes 9-12

1 stick of butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan (or line with a mat).

Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is almost completely melted, remove from the heat and stir until all the chocolate is gone.

Pour your chocolate mixture into a bowl and add in your eggs one at a time. Stir in your remaining ingredients. That’s it!

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. You  might need to slap your pan on the counter a few times to get your ooey gooey batter to spread into all the corners. Cook them until they are just bbbareeely set in the middle. Once they sit on the counter for a bit, carry over cooking will do the rest and it will ensure that you get perfectly moist brownies instead of dry ones!




Espresso Caramel Macarons with

More macarons! This time went much smoother, faster, and just as tasty.
photo 1Residency has started in full speed so baking has gone on the back burner a little bit. But these macarons got a turn in the oven before the craziness started and I got to feed them to my brand new intern class!

photo 2The caramel buttercream was suggested to me from a friend as “eat it straight up” good. It involves making actual caramel which is albeit, just a bit stressful. However, I totally also wanted to eat it straight out of the bowl. So incredibly delicious.

photo 3Plus, I bought a medium mesh strainer so the sifting process went 500x faster this time! These guys were done in under 45 minutes! I sense many more macarons in the future!

Espresso Caramel Macarons

Adapted from Tish Boyle

Espresso Macarons: makes 24
2/3 cup almond flour or meal
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar on a humid day
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat and stack on top of another baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375 F.

In a food processor, process your almond flour, your confectioner’s sugar, and your espresso powder until well combined. Sift through a medium-mesh sifter into a bowl.

In another bowl with an hand mixer, beat the egg whites (and pinch of cream of tartar) until foamy. Add in your superfine sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add in the vanilla and whisk until blended.

Add in your almond mixture to the stiff eggs and fold until well incorporated and your mixture is thick and slowly drips off your spatula. Try 50 folds for a perfect consistency.

Using a piping bag (or a ziploc bag), pipe 1 inch rounds 1/2 inch apart on your baking sheet. Slam this onto your counter a few times or until the top of your macarons are smooth. Tip: drap your piping tool to the edge of your macarons as you pipe to avoid peaks. Dry at room temperature for about 15 minutes or until you can gently touch them without them sticking to your fingers.

10 minutes into your drying, decrease your oven temperature to 350F. After your macarons are done drying, bake for 15-18 minutes and cool!

Caramel Buttercream Filling:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 candy thermometer

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook your sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup and salt until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Once dissolved, increase the heat to high and plop in a candy thermometer. Keep a close eye on your saucepan as you go on to the next step!

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until your sugar mixture reaches 225F on your thermometer. Once it does, increase your egg beating speed to high until the sugar reaches 238F. This will be a quick jump and it will be easy to go from caramel to burnt sugar so pay attention! Remove your hot sugary caramel from the heat and pour 1/4 cup of it into your eggs while constantly beating. Beat at high speed until blended (about 10 seconds). Repeat until all the caramel is incorporated. Continue to beat until the mixture is completely cool, about 5 minutes.

At a slightly slower speed, beat in the butter (1 tablespoon at a time) into your mixture. Add in the vanilla extract and beat your mixture (now buttercream) until smooth and shiny. Please, feel free to eat a spoonful and lick the whole bowl.

Putting it all together
Pipe your buttercream into your macarons and store in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld. Before serving, let it come to room temperature for a few hours.


PS: Caramel clean up tip – put water into your caramel saucepan and bring to a boil. It’ll dissolve just like that!
PPS: For more tips on making macarons, refer to this blog post.