Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brownies? Or blondies?

A year or so ago, a bunch of curators gathered for a brownie baking masterclass. And no, I wasn't the one supplying the brownies or doing the baking. That fell to Leah. Leah's an awesome baker, and makes her own chocolate truffles as well as her own line of spiffy accessories, Dressed for Sunday.

Anyway, one of the recipes she provided was for white chocolate brownies. And I decided, one year on, that it was about time I made them! Leah calls them brownies, but considering the lack of cocoa powder or dark chocolate, I think they're technically blondies. But when they taste as good as they do, who really cares what they're called!!

Right, let's get baking. Here's what you'll need:

Yes, that really is THREE blocks of white chocolate... Start by greasing and lining a baking tin, and preheating the oven to 180 degrees.

Dump 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a mixing bowl. It doesn't need to be a particularly large bowl, something I would have realised if I'd read more than just the ingredients list before starting!!

Sift 1.5 cups of plain flour in with the salt.

Then set the flour/salt mixture to one side.

Put three large, room temperature eggs into a mixing bowl. Now THIS time, you'll want to use a large bowl. Something I again would have realised if I'd read more than the ingredients...

Beat the eggs until frothy.

You'll need 3/4 cup of sugar, but the proportions of caster and brown sugars are up to you. The brown sugar gives them a fudgier (is that a word??) characteristic. So I used half brown sugar...

...and half caster sugar.

Beat the sugar into the eggs one tablespoon at a time.

Next, melt 3/4 cup of butter. I did weigh out how much it was, but now I can't for the life of me remember what it worked out to... I think it worked out to being just about the 3/4 cup line in the bowl in chopped chunks of butter.......

And chop up 1.5 cups of nuts. I used a combination of macadamias and cashews, but you can use whatever you like really!

And melt 300g of white chocolate. You can do it in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. You don't want it to overheat, or it'll go completely feral and lumpy and you'll have to throw it out and start again:

Gently fold the melted chocolate and the melted butter into the sugar and egg mixture.

Then add 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla. Extract, not essence, obviously. Vanilla essence is the devil... If, however, you DO decide to use it, you'll need to use 3 teaspoons.

It may look a little curdled at this stage. According to Leah's recipe, this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Fold in the flour and salt mixture:
And stir gently until combined:

Finally, fold in the 1.5 cups of nuts, along with 210g of chopped white chocolate:

Mmmmm, lumpy goodness...

Pour into the prepared tin, and stick it in the oven. Leah's recipe says to cook them for 25 minutes, which will result in a slightly undercooked brownie/blondie. But mine were nowhere NEAR being slightly undercooked. They were just liquid. I ended up putting them in for 40 minutes, which resulted in the edge pieces being ever so slightly overcooked. So I'd go with around 35 minutes. Oh, and DON'T USE THE TOP TRAY OF THE OVEN! ;)

Cool in the tin, then cut into as many pieces as desired. I did 36, because that's what I do for my triple chocolate brownies and because I suck at cutting square things into five pieces. Six is much easier!! Check out how full of goodies they are! And no, those really white bits aren't feta cheese. That's the white chocolate. (Anyone else think they look like feta, or is it just me?????)

Mmmmmmmm, chunky...

Perfect little bite sized bits of deliciousness! I'm still torn over what to call them though...

They met with Leah's seal of approval, more or less. Five minutes less in the oven and putting them in the fridge before serving would have made them perfect! But I'll have to wait until next time to see how much of a difference that makes...

What do you think? Brownies? Or blondies???

K xx

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