Apologies for having fallen off the face of the earth. December seems to have taken us rather by surprise in a 'butbutit'salreadyonlyaweektilChristmasandthere'sstillsomuchtodooooo' sort of a way. But, we have a tree, it is twinkling away in the corner, and there is a flurry of cards in the post winging their way across the country.
In honour of various Christmas parties and festive drinks, I have dragged myself to the hairdressers and am now sporting a rather sleeker, darker version of my usual frizzy mess. Last night, however, I was in the mood for something a little blonder and creamier (how's that for a tenuous segue?)
Now, let it never be said that I don't like dark chocolate. A couple of squares (oh alright, most of a bar) of some 70% cocoa chocolate and a glass of red wine of an evening, and I'm a very happy girl. Chocolate cake is something of another matter. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that, unless it's something really special, I always tend to veer away from it and towards a vanilla sponge, a layered angel cake or a lemon drizzle. It's the same with brownies. A good, sticky, dark chocolate brownie, with chunks of hazelnut, served warm with some cornish dairy ice cream is a gorgeous, gorgeous thing, but if you ask me, I think this is one case where blondies really are more fun.
This is my favourite blondie recipe (white chocolate brownie, for those who don't know). The blueberries take the edge off the white chocolate's sweetness, and the macadamia nuts give them a great crunch. The result is that, if you're me at least, it's very easy to make 30 largeish blondie squares, and, erm, even easier to eat them ALL in the space of two days. Whoops.
White Chocolate, Blueberries and Macadamia Nut Blondies
Adapted from Linda Collister's Divine Heavenly Chocolate book.
The main adaptation here is a damn sight more blueberries than the recipe suggests - I like the blondies to be liberally sprinkled with purplish juicy splodges.
200g white chocolate
200g butter, chopped into cubes
150g caster sugar
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
3 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line 1 large square cake tin or 2 small ones.
- Break 150 g of the chocolate into pieces and put them in a heatproof bowl with the chopped butter. Heat gently over a saucepan of water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not immersed in the water or the chocolate may burn. Stir the mixture continuously until melted and smooth.
- Take the mixture off the heat and leave it to cool until later.
- In a large, clean bowl, whisk the eggs like a maniac until they're pale yellow and frothy.
- Add the sugar and whisk vigorously again until the mixture is smooth and the sugar is combined.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and butter mix and stir in until you've got a golden, viscous mixture.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold it in with a metal spoon until well mixed.
- Roughly chop the remaining 50g chocolate into chunks and add this, along with the chopped nuts and half the blueberries to the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth it into the corners with the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until risen and golden on top.
- Cut into squares while still warm, then remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.