Being a baker, it’s probably safe to assume that I share a passion for all thing’s chocolate right? Whilst I find no challenge in demolishing a 200g bar of Galaxy or Fruit & Nut in one sitting (proud of that one), I’ve never really had the same love for chocolate in any other form that it’s original, solid & pure bar.
Cakes, muffins, brownies… however you disguise it, it’s just not the same as delving into the real thing . Sugar laden white chocolate on the other hand, is a different story. 100g bars of Lidl’s finest seems to find their way into my cupboard (& belly) on a weekly basis. They end up in all sorts from cheesecakes to frosting, drizzled over cakes or biscuits & of course, devoured by the square, naturally.
Other than my devoted White Chocolate Easter Cake, my favourite recipe by far using this pale, ivory deliciousness it these blondies. Apparently blondies were on the scene long before it’s chocolatier cousin, the brownie. Known as butterscotch bars, the blondie got its flavour & colour from the use of molasses. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the innovation & expansion of chocolate manufacturing came about & thus it became a readily available ingredient. Adding chocolate to the butterscotch bar mix gave birth to the brownie.
By the 1950’s, butterscotch bars were now being referred to as “blonde brownies”, due to the similarities to the now more popular chocolate brownies. Over time this became just “blondies” as we know them today. Different name but same, dense, fudgy, butterscotchy deliciousness that lie somewhere between cake & raw cookie dough (read: ‘amazing’).
Often you’ll find blondies with some kind of addition, think chocolate chips, nuts of fruit. I think this is to help two things: Firstly, the texture can be a bit samey, adding something else into the mix adds a nice contrast, a little pleasant morsel of crunch or flavour. Secondly, let’s face it, blondies aren’t a particularly exciting food to look at, they’re just dense, golden brown squares, again adding in some simple chocolate chips or dried fruits adds a bit more excitement.
Setting out on my own pursuit of the perfect blondie, I think I’ve nailed this perfect combination of textures & flavours in this fudgy little beauty. Obviously, I’ve gone for white chocolate chunks (who needs chips, they’re too small to add substance here), which add that welcome creamy, vanilla hit which can only come from my favoured bar. With an already tooth achingly sweetness in these bars, the next addition is something bright & citrus to cut through some of that sweetness & balance these bad boys out a bit, lemon. It was only a matter of time really until I combined quite possibly my two favourite flavours in something & I’m glad to say it works a treat here. If you’re feeling extra naughty with these, try serving them warm with a dollop of ice cream (you can thank me later).
(Makes 12 large squares or 16 medium rectangles)
- 230g butter
- 430g light soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- zest x2 lemons
- 250g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 100g white chocolate, chopped into fairly large chunks
- Melt the butter & sugar together in a large saucepan then set aside to cool for around 10 minutes
- Once the mixture has cooled add the eggs, vanilla, salt & lemon zest to the pan & beat
- Add the flour to the pan beat again until smooth & thick
- Add the white chocolate chunks to the pan & stir these through
- Pour mixture into a 13″x9″ rectangular tin, greased & lined with baking parchment
- Bake the blondies at 180C for 20-25 minutes until the whole thing has turned golden, formed a shiny crust & still feels slightly soft or wobbly in the centre
- Leave the blondies to cool completely in their tin before removing & slicing