Raspberry & Macadamia Blondies
This recipe has come to fruition through blissful ignorance. A few years ago I was obsessed with the idea of blondies (partly due to my love affair with Blondie – the band, not the cartoon strip – but that is most definitely another story), and I was under the impression they should feature all the moist, fudgy goodness of a brownie, just a lighter, creamier version.
I set about creating my idea of a perfect blondie. I thought the spine-tingling tang of the raspberries (blueberries are an excellent substitute) would offset beautifully the milky sweetness of the chocolate, and the addition of creamy macadamia nuts felt so right. I made it a few times and knew it was a winner. And then I discovered an unwelcome truth.
Unbeknownst to me, a true blondie should more or less resemble a very large, thick, soft-baked cookie – in pan form. I was flabbergasted. But in feisty Blondie-like rebellious spirit – albeit the culinary kind – I never bothered to reassess my recipe. When something tastes so good, why bother?
As I mentioned in my previous recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies, this is a great recipe for children to get involved in. Stir by hand, just until the ingredients are mixed at each stage. Do not overbeat, or you’ll incorporate too much air and end up with a rather cake-like texture, and no-one wants that.
150g / 5.5 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
100g / 3.5 oz unsalted butter, cubed
170g / 6oz soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or natural extract)
125g / 4.5oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
100g / 3.5oz fresh or frozen raspberries
50g / 2oz macadamias, chopped. (Optional. Avoid if in any doubt with young children – you can use white chocolate chips instead!)
Preheat your oven to 170c / 325f / Gas mark 3
Grease and line a 9″ x 9″ brownie pan.
Melt the chopped chocolate and cubed butter together in a bowl in the microwave, or use a bain marie. Either way, do this very gently as white chocolate melts much more quickly than dark chocolate. I find two x 40 second bursts in the microwave (stir half way through) works well for me. It will look split – gently stir it to mix, then set aside for a few moments.
Mix together the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Just stir until you can no longer ‘see’ the sugar.
Pour in the white chocolate/butter mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
Now sift in flour and salt; fold the mixture gently, just until you can no longer see floury bits.
Scatter the raspberries and macadamias and stir very gently. Try to mix them well into the batter but again, avoid over-mixing. The raspberries will break up a bit, no matter how gentle you are – don’t worry, it won’t matter one bit.
Pour the blondie mixture into your prepared pan and gently smooth into place using your spatula (or the back of a spoon).
Place the tin into the centre of your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. I find about 28 minutes is just right, but check yours after 25. It should be just golden around the edges. The top should be ‘set’ with a hint of wobble underneath. Not raw batter – that means it isn’t ready – but you do want a bit of squish. This can take a bit of practice , but remember it will continue to ‘cook’ for a while after you remove it from the oven, and it will firm up as it cools. Allow to cool for at least 40 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove. You can get 16-20 squares from this.
Delicious alone or slightly warmed with a scoop of ice-cream on top!