Caramelised White Chocolate Blondies

 

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As this is my first recipe of the year that I’m posting, I had to make sure it was a really good one – after an 8 month or so wait average just wouldn’t cut it.

These blondies are something that had been a niggling idea at the back of my mind for a while and when the thought wouldn’t go away I knew they had to be made.

I’ve done a few versions of blondies before (these peanut butter blondies and these strawberry blondies are two of my faves) but none that have quite matched up to the texture and delicious fudgey, dense, chocolatey-ness of my favourite brownies.

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I figured this was because none of the recipes I’ve made previously have included as much melted white chocolate as brownies tend to have melted dark chocolate. This is probably because it would make them too sweet but it got me thinking that maybe caramelised white chocolate, with a hint of saltiness, might be just the right balance.

If you haven’t heard of or tried caramelised white chocolate before, it’s basically white chocolate that’s roasted over a low heat, stirring frequently, until it turns golden brown, with a pinch of salt added in at the end. For step by step instructions, David Lebovitz is the man.

To make these blondies I used 200g of the caramelised white chocolate melted into the batter and another 100g chopped up and added to the mix, which made sure the flavour came through really strongly.

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The texture was exactly as I’d hoped and the salt balanced the sweetness. The taste testers in my office loved them and even my boyfriend who insists he doesn’t like white chocolate or brownies really liked them too.

These blondies will definitely be made again at some point, possibly with some different add-ins, but the simple version really does work well and if you haven’t baked with caramelised white chocolate before, I highly recommend you give it a try.

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Caramelised white chocolate blondies

  • 300g caramelised white chocolate
  • 140g butter
  • 180g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 100g milk chocolate chunks (I used Galaxy Counters)

Break 200g of the white chocolate into chunks and melt with the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar.

Add in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla, beating with ¬†wooden spoon to combine. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt then fold into the mixture. I like a salted dessert so I used quite a bit, but if you’re not sure how salty you want it be conservative and you can always sprinkle some more on top before baking.

Stir in the milk chocolate chunks and the rest of the white chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Pour into a 8×8″ square baking tin lined with baking paper and bake at 170 degrees (150 fan) for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out with crumbs on, but not liquid batter.

Leave to cool then cut into squares and serve!

 

Bacon chocolate cupcakes

Down the road from my office is a van, occupied by a man called Bacon Dave. You can guess what gourmet delights come from his van…

Bacon Dave is very popular with my colleagues, particularly the boys, and so when one of their birthdays came around I decided that whatever I made would have to contain bacon – whether it tasted nice or not.

I wanted to go down the chocolate route, because if there’s anything that will make bacon taste ok, that’s it. I found a recipe by Simon Rimmer which I used as the base recipe, then just tweaked it by throwing in some caramelised white chocolate chunks for extra sweetness and switching the frosting to a simple cocoa buttercream.

The reactions were very, VERY mixed. The birthday boy actually had a cold and said he couldn’t taste the bacon, whereas another colleague thought the bacon was overwhelming and didn’t like it.

I thought it was weird, but I had more of an issue with the texture than the taste. My housemate on the other hand loved them and ate two, so I guess it just comes down to personal taste!

If you like bacon it might be worth giving these a go, but for me I don’t think I’ll be likely to use bacon in anything sweet for quite a while…

Bacon chocolate cupcakes (adapted from Simon Rimmer’s recipe)

  • 6 slices bacon, grilled until crispy
  • 75g milk chocolate
  • 75g white chocolate
  • 115g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 25ml strong coffee, cooled
  • 115ml sour cream
  • 60ml vegetable oil

For the icing:

  • 60g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Start by melting the milk chocolate, then crumble up the bacon and mix two thirds of it into the chocolate. Spread this out on a piece of baking paper or tin foil and leave to set. Make the caramelised white chocolate by chopping the chocolate and placing in a baking dish in the oven on a low temperature. Stir every 5-10 minutes until it’s golden and caramelised, then stir in 1/2 tsp salt and spread out on baking paper or foil to set, as with the milk chocolate. When both are completely set, chop into chunks ready to use in the cupcakes.

To make the cake mix, sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and mix well. In another bowl beat together all the wet ingredients, then fold this into the dry mix along with the chocolate chips. Divide the mixture between 9-10 large cupcake cases and bake at 180 degrees (160 fan) for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer comes out clean.

For the icing, beat the butter to soften, then sift in half the sugar and beat to combine. Sift in the remaining sugar and cocoa powder and beat again. Once it comes together, add a tablespoon of milk and keep beating until light and fluffy, adding a little more milk if necessary. Spread the icing over the cooled cupcakes, then sprinkle the remaining bits on top.

Delicious?!