I spoke in a previous blog (Blackberry Time) about my endeavour to stay ‘seasonally present’ and not canter ahead into autumn. I held fast and the beach BBQ last week was the perfect end to a wonderful summer season; and so we pass into autumn.
I decided to venture into unknown territories this week and I baked some blondies. Blondies are by no means a new phenomenon and have been popular in recipe books and online for years – but they are new to me.
For those not intimately aquainted with a blondie, allow me to explain. They are a lot like a brownie, except you substitute the cocoa powder, the ingredient that makes brownies brown, for vanilla, making blondies blonde!
What I enjoyed about the blondie baking process was choosing my flavours. Typically blondies are made with brown sugar which give them a wonderful golden caramel taste; so when adding in the extra flavour boosters, I wanted to pick something to complement. After much deliberation I went for the fail safe combination of pecan nuts and dark chocolate chunks – you just can’t go wrong with that!
Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chunk Blondies
170g light muscavado sugar
170g caster sugar
170g unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
170g 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Heat oven to 180ºC and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with parchment.
Beat the butter, caster sugar and light muscavado sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the egg a little at time, ensuring the egg is fully incorporated before adding more. Finally beat in the vanilla extract.
Sift together the plain flour and baking powder, then add this to the mixture and slowly fold through until fully combined. Top tip when folding through the flour is to make sure you check the bottom of the mix with the spoon, as a little pocket of flour can sometimes settle here.
Finally fold through the pecan nuts and dark chocolate, reserving some for scattering on the top.
Tip the mixture into your prepared tin and gently spread it to the edges of the pan until level. Scatter over the reserved nuts and chocolate and pop into the oven to bake for about 30 minutes or until just set, as you want them to still be chewy and soft in the middle.
Allow to cool completely before turning out of the tin and cutting into squares.
These blondies are definitely a step into the autumn season with their golden colour and toasted nuts. They are the perfect companion for a amble in the countryside hunting for conkers.