White chocolate brownies are a little like blondies with their gooey goodness. And yet they’re every bit as rich as your favorite brownies.
White chocolate brownies with a strawberry-balsamic swirl. The title sorta says it all…and yet we can’t stop ourselves from gushing a little more about this unexpected dessert. The brilliance lies in roasting the white chocolate (yes, roasting) until it takes on rich, complex overtones of caramel and dulce de leche. Then it’s mixed with the usual brownie or blondie fixings and swirled with a gently sweet tart strawberry balsamic jam. Okay. We’re done talking now. Time for more noshing on these blondies.–Angie Zoobkoff
Why Roast White Chocolate?
We did a double take when we first saw this white chocolate brownies recipe. Roasted white chocolate?! It was novel, to be certain. Although just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something. We weren’t convinced until we read what author Irvin Lin had to say on the topic and then we simply had to try it. And we’re sooooo glad we did. Here’s what Lin explained: “Too many chocolate snobs dismiss white and milk chocolates as one-dimensional and too sweet, choosing dark chocolate with high cacao percentages. They clearly have not tasted roasted white and milk chocolates. Roasting these sweeter chocolates in the oven caramelizes the cocoa butter fats, creating complex flavors reminiscent of buttery caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and dulce de leche. Roasting white chocolate for baking is easy (just toss it into a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or at lower temperature like 250°F (120°C) for 20 to 30 minutes if you want a smoother end result). Milk chocolate requires longer in the oven (20 to 30 minutes at 300°F (150°C), or longer at lower temperatures). Either can be used in place of dark chocolate in recipes to create something closer to a caramel or blondie bar with chocolate undertones. Roasted or caramelized white chocolate has become so popular that some professional chocolate companies like Valrhona are even selling commercial versions of it now.”
White Chocolate Brownies Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 1 H, 45 M
- Makes 2 to 3 dozen
- For the roasted white chocolate
- 1 2/3 cups (10 ounces or 285 g) good-quality white chocolate*, chopped into 1/4-inch (6-mm) chunks
- For the white chocolate brownie batter
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces or 170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups (270 g) all-purpose flour
- For the strawberry-balsamic swirl
- 1 cup (160 g) strawberries, chopped into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold water
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) balsamic vinegar
- Make the roasted white chocolate
- 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- 2. Spread the white chocolate on a rimmed baking sheet and slide it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir with a spatula until the browned chocolate at the edges is evenly mixed in with the uncooked white chocolate in the center. Continue to bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until the white chocolate is the color of dark peanut butter, 5 to 10 minutes more for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Watch the white chocolate closely as it can go from perfect to to burnt pretty fast. It’s okay if the white chocolate isn’t completely melted or if it looks a bit grainy. Let the white chocolate cool on the baking sheet while you make the brownie batter.
- Make the white chocolate brownies batter
- 3. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) metal baking pan with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper, allowing at least 2 inches (5 cm) overhang at the edges of the pan.
- 4. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
- 5. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until completely incorporated and and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the next egg. Add the oil and beat until incorporated. Scrape the roasted white chocolate into the bowl (it may have hardened and gotten a little grainy but don’t worry it’ll still be fine) and mix until completely combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until no trace of flour remains, about 30 seconds. Don’t worry if there are tiny lumps of melted white chocolate in the batter as they’ll melt during baking. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Make the strawberry-balsamic swirl
- 6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries and sugar and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and smashing the strawberries with the back of the spoon, until the strawberries release their juice and fall apart, 7 to 10 minutes.
- 7. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the water and then drizzle the mixture into the strawberries in the pan, continuing to stir and cook for a minute or two until the mixture has thickened into a sticky, somewhat jam-like consistency. Continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, stirring constantly, and then remove from the heat. Immediately stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- 8. Drop generous tablespoons of the strawberry swirl over the brownie batter and then use a butter knife or chopstick to swirl the two mixtures together by gently pulling the strawberry swirl here and there and then pulling some brownie batter over the strawberry swirl in places. Don’t overmix the two as you want the swirl to remain distinct.
- 9. Bake the white chocolate brownies until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies (not in the strawberry swirl) comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the brownies by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and gently pulling directly up. Transfer the entire slab of brownies to a cutting board where you can slice them whatever size you fancy.
*HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD-QUALITY WHITE CHOCOLATE
- When you’re standing at the store staring at your white chocolate options, the best indicator of quality white chocolate isn’t necessarily just the price tag but the ingredients list. Take a look and make certain that cocoa butter is listed. Some lesser-quality white chocolate uses vegetable oil in place of the cocoa butter, which will lack flavor and won’t melt or caramelize well.
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White Chocolate Brownies Recipe © 2016 Irvin Lin. Photo © 2016 Linda Xiao. All rights reserved.
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