Saturday, December 08, 2007

A blondie for all occasions

Bite sized blondie stack

There was a time (before I started paying attention to what I ate) that the word "Blondie" conjurs up only 2 images in my mind.
  1. Tsk! She's such a blondie! - ie. a clueless blonde person.
  2. And so I wake in the morning and I step outside... to the tune of "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes. (not to be confused with the Blondies)
That, fortunately was many moons ago. Nowadays, there are 3 things that come to mind when someone utters the word "Blondie". At the top of the list, is:

"A white chocolate Brownie" :)

I have to say, it took a while for me to start appreciating the quality of white chocolates. I've always avoided white chocolates not because I'm a chocolate purist and don't think they "count" as chocolate, but more for the taste or sweetness of it. It used to give me toothaches for days on end whenever I have a piece of white chocolate - the bigger it is, the longer the ache lingers.

So imagine my own surprise when I found myself craving for this creamy confection one day after listening to my boss/colleague Kathy's weekend dinner party stories about the white chocolate and mascarpone cheesecake she had served up to her dinner guests. I remember her telling me that it was superb and it was the only cheesecake that her daughter (who is a little bit of a fussy eater) would ever eat. It contained a large amount of white chocolate, loads of double cream and mascarpone cheese. It was full of cheesey and creamy goodness and so rich that she had to serve it with a raspberry compote to tone things down a little.

To this day, I do not recall what was going through my mind that day, but I remember stopping by the supermarket for those 4 items (white chocolate, double cream, mascarpone cheese and frozen raspberries) on the way home that day with grand ideas of making that same cheesecake that very night.

With all the ingredients stacked up in the fridge I was confident of reaching the doorsteps of cheesecake heaven that night until I couldn't find the recipe for it! :( It was one of Bill Granger's recipes and I have almost every single publication that he had ever released... except for one. It turned out that the recipe was in THAT VERY BOOK that I didn't have. Boo... I lost interest after that, the whole cheesecake craving went straight out the window and the white chocolate and raspberries sat forgotten in the pantry and freezer.

Until one day when it was announced we were having a social function at work and everyone was to bring a dish to share. I had left it to the very last minute and a quick survey of the pantry the night before revealed the white chocolates I had bought a few months ago. The white chocolate brought back memories of the frozen raspberries and little bit of digging later I found some macadamia nuts and the idea came to me that I should whip up some sort of blondie/brownie with the ingredients.

So I turned to my then new acquisition Donna Hay's chocolate book and this was the result of that little pantry-digging/recipe-searching expedition.

A whole block of blondie

adapted from Donna Hay chocolate

180g white chocolate
125g butter
385g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 punnet of raspberries
100g macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan and stir until smooth.
  3. Place in a bowl with the sugar, vanilla and eggs.
  4. Sift over flour and baking powder and mix to combine.
  5. Fold in macadamia nuts.
  6. Pour mixture into a 22cm square tin (I used a rectangular sized slice tin) lined with non-stick baking paper.
  7. Lightly stud the top of the mixture with the raspberries (click here to see example).
  8. Bake for 1 hour or so until set.
  9. Remove from oven and set aside.
Serve by either: cutting into small bite sized squares using the raspberries as guide or into bigger slices if serving as a dessert.

Optional: dust with icing sugar before serving.

My Verdict:

Remember how I said I didn't like white chocolate?? Can a girl be fickle and change her mind?? Of course! What else is new!? I love this blondie recipe. The tartness in the raspberry helped cut the sweetness of the white chocolate whilst the macadamia nuts added a great texture to the dense slice.

At first, I was a little worried when I brought it to the social gathering because there were soo many desserts and mine was parked right at the corner out of line of sight. My worries were unfounded, because by the time I went back to the dessert table to collect my leftovers and plate more than 2/3 of the plate had disappeared! I almost had to scramble for the leftovers.

Not satisfied that I was left with so little to take home, I made another batch of it on the weekend and since we had visitors over, I cut up a bigger slice of the blondie and made some raspberry sauce to go with it. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it turns a simple slice into a decadent and classy finish to a meal. :)

So, cut it into small squares to share or big slices for a simple dessert. Is this a blondie for all occasions or what? ;)

Blondie as dessert w/ raspberry sauce

Edit: Doh! I was going to bring this to Peabody's House Warming Party. But since I was so disorganised, I missed the submission deadline yesterday. Bummer. Hope you have a fabulous party Peabody!


Hungry Hamster said...

Omg! The pics are absolutely beautiful!!

I have the same Donna Hay book, but I have to say yours look way better! When I saw the picture of her Blondie in her book, it didn't appeal to me. But after seeing your photos, I actually want to try it out!

The addition of raspberries is a fantastic idea!

Great job!!

btw, I seldom see pictures of food with black background and you have done it beautifully!

Manggy said...

I thought it was too chilly for ice cream! Isn't it near freezing in the UK? Anyway, I am envying you for having raspberries around. Perfect combo with the white choc!

Peabody said...

Oh the more the merrier...come on over! I just added you!

thanh7580 said...

I so agree with you that white chocolate can be way too sweet. I love chocolate but don't eat much white chocolate.

This recipe looks great, so easy. I'm going to try it out.

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love blondies and these look absolutely delicious! I have some white chocolate stored away for something good. But one question, what in the world is a "punnet"?!?

Graeme said...

These look so great. White chocolate is such a nice change, especially next to raspberries.

Dhanggit said...

im a black chocolate addict..but this recipe just converted me to trying white choco :-) i love the first photo looks absolutely divine!

ilingc said...

Hungry Hamster: Thanks HH :) The blondie in the Donna Hay book didn't really appeal to me either. It just looked like a piece of cake didn't it?

Manggy: Manggy, it's NEVER too chilly for ice cream :) I actually made a few months ago, before I came to London along with a whole bunch of other things. Just haven't gotten around to post them all yet!
Re: the raspberries, I cheated and used frozen raspberries ;)

Peabody: Ahh.. you found out about me! I didn't email it because it was too late. Thanks for taking in a straggler!

Thanh: Hi Thanh. The raspberry sauce made a huge difference. Let me know how you go :)

Gretchen: Hi Gretchen. A punnet is like the little plastic container fresh raspberries are sold in. You could say a box instead of a punnet.
In Australia,they're usually 150g boxes. But feel free to use more! :)

Graeme: Thanks Graeme :)

Dhanggit: Hi Dhanggit. I was a milk choc addict convert to dark choc. :) Do let me know if you try it. Would love to know what you think of it :)

NJ_La said...

when are you going to make me this? =p

Patricia Scarpin said...

You can be honest and say you baked these especially for me, sweetie - macadamias, raspberries AND white chocolate??? My name is written all over it. ;)

I have been meaning to buy that book, now even more. :)

Jeanne said...

OMG these look DIVINE! I also don't like white chocolate but somehow paired with tart raspberries it works. I made a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake in the summer and it was glorious. Fab photos too!

ilingc said...

Ange: Soon. Maybe for New Years Eve :)

Patricia: :) Patricia, I made them just for you :D
It's a great collection of some classic chocolate recipes. Sometimes, I wished I brought it with me to London.

Jeanne: Thanks Jeanne. White choc and raspberries are now my favourite combo. :D