Ah, yes, the brownie is good. It’s really good. And I swear I will blog it tomorrow. But today, raise your eyes. Look at that chocolate glaze. That perfect chocolate glaze that made these brownies “the best ever.” Suzen said that. I was humbled.
The brownie is from Maida Heatter, with some modifications. This glaze starts with her, too, but I’ve totally modified it. Maida wants only cream, instant coffee powder and LOTS of chocolate. Her glaze was for a cake, mine for a single layer of brownies, so I use less chocolate, add some butter and some powdered sugar.
The result? This is an awesome glaze, for many reasons. It’s easy to make. It spread wonderfully. And it dries into a work of art.
Often when you see a recipe for powdered sugar, it calls for sifting or sieving. That’s a good idea here. You might see in my picture just a speck of two of powdered sugar that was not fully dissolved. By the time you add the powdered sugar, this mixture is becoming very viscous. You won’t have the opportunity to get rid of every speck of unsifted powdered sugar. Just consider it decoration.
Brian’s Perfect Chocolate Glaze
Yield: easily enough to top one 8” X 10” sheet.
- ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Put the cream in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer, with bubbles starting to form on the side of the saucepan. Add the instant coffee powder and the chocolate and whisk for one minute — with the mixture still on medium heat.
Remove from the heat and, if necessary, continue to whisk until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, ½ cup at a time, whisking after each addition. You’ll need two additions and perhaps much of the third.
If the glaze is still “hot” then wait a few moments. When it is warm, and still quite fluid, pour the glaze over your brownies, or whatever, and allow it to gracefully flow.
Complete the task by taking a rubber spatula and cleaning any remaining glaze out of the bowl. You can share with your spouse or your children. Or, if you are alone, you can just eat it all yourself and smile at your success.
Source: Brian O’Rourke inspired by Maida Heatter
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a pure white cake coated with a thick vanilla frosting. But there certainly are ways to boost the flavor and surprise your dessert companions.
First, you can add some zest, literally, to the cake batter. The zest of one large orange or two lemons will offer a tease of flavor. When you make the frosting, adding the juice from that orange or the lemons will again offer a flavor burst.
To go further, apply this citrus glaze to the tops of your cake layers before assembling and frosting the cake. And, this glaze can be used in other situations: to complete a newly baked muffin, to add flavor to shortbread or sugar cookies, … This glaze is a very bright surprise.
Simple Citrus Glaze
Yield: ½ cup
- 1/3 cup super fine sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
- Optionally 1 tablespoon orange liqueur [Grand Marnier, …]
Place the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Use medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm. Do not bring to a boil. Take off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Apply to your cake or cookies with brush, saturating to the flavor level you desire: a little glaze for a hint of flavor or a soak to give your cake a definite citrus twist.
If using orange liqueur, begin with just 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Use 3 tablespoons of juice if not planning on using the liqueur. The flavor profiles with and without the liqueur are quite distinct.
Your options include substituting lemon or lime juice for the orange juice. Or, you can do a mélange with multiple fruit juices.
Source: inspired by Making Cupcakes with Lola by Victoria Jossel and Romy Lewis