Sunday, 25 November 2012

Vanilla Blondies

Well – in my last post, I said that I had a few recipes that I hoped to share soon and I feel this is getting off to a good start – a new post only a few days later than my last post (as opposed to over a month as has been the case all too often this year…).

This recipe was invented during a period of intense seeking after brownie perfection (this recipe is a product of that time and in fact, is just a variant of this recipe, which actually came first despite the fact that the brownie recipe made it onto the blog months ago). I was a bit-over-chocolated and wanted something different but still similar to the perfect brownies after which I aspired (and still do). Something must have gone right because this recipe is now one of J’s favourites – and one of the few foods that he finds close to irresistible (his general attitude to food, which is to eat when he is hungry and not to eat when he is not is something my greedy self wishes I had more in common with). This recipe is very easy to make and easy to vary – for example, try substituting the cranberries and macadamia nuts for other nuts and/or fruit, add in some chocolate chunks or drizzle chocolate on top – one combination that I like (and which received good reviews at work!) is to swop the cranberries and macadamias for walnut pieces and to drizzle white chocolate on the top.

I baked this in a baking tin measuring about 11 inches by 7 inches. All the cup measurements below are based on a 250 ml mug as equal to 1 cup. Apologies for the weird light in the photos in this post – a sad consequence of baking at night by the yellow glow of the kitchen light rather than in natural light.


What you need:

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

Pinch salt

1 cup (and a bit more if you fancy) of mixed cranberries and macadamia nuts

2 eggs

1 dessertspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, melted

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180º C or 350º F) and grease the baking tray well.

2. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the cranberries and macadamias to the bowl and mix everything together well.


3. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and butter to the bowl and mix together vigorously with a whisk until thoroughly combined. I find it best to add the eggs to one side of the bowl and the butter to the other side of the bowl immediately before whisking, to avoid any egg being inadvertently cooked by hot butter.




4. Tip the batter into the greased baking pan, spread it equally across the pan and level the top. This batter can be quite stiff, particularly if you eggs were on the small side, and so it may need some work to spread it fully in the pan.



5. Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until done. At this point a skewer will come out mostly clean with a wettish crumb – if a skewer comes out with raw batter on it, leave the blondies in the oven to cook for a bit longer.

6. When done, remove the blondies from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack before cutting, decorating with melted chocolate (if desired) and devouring.




Thursday, 22 November 2012

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly...

I seem, on the rare occasions these days when I do blog, to only ever post apology posts for not posting for so long. So, in the interests of not breaking the habit too soon, I'll start this post by saying that I am sorry for not posting for so long. I have missed blogging but sadly life has taken over lately. Between a trip to Zimbabwe, lots and lots of work and an exciting new development in the somesomeandsome household - a new little family member currently baking away and due next February - I've either not had time to blog or struggled to find the inclination to spend time in the kitchen with food. However, I have a series of photos for recipes that I need to write up into posts, which I hope to do soon. Until then, thank you for your ongoing support - I am amazed by the fact that, despite my lack of posts, not a day has gone by without someone or many someones visiting my little corner of the web - thank you!