At the beginning of the year I didn’t even really know what they were but now I am well and truly hooked. As a brownie lover, the darker the better, I was unsure of its fairer counterpart, questioning what the point really was. However, on the continuing quest of trying out new things and seeing that people seemed to love them I needed to understand why. So, I took my first, hesitant step into the world of blondies with this recipe and can guarantee that this certainly won’t be the last blondie recipe you see me make, I am a convert. The butterscotch flavours had me from the first taste, imagine raw cookie dough but better (because at the very least its not raw).
Let me start with what a blondie is, as that is where I started. I really had no clue; was it just a brownie using white chocolate instead of dark chocolate? I had one memory of thinking it was a banana flavoured brownie – I can confirm that it is not. From what I can gather it is a brownie style traybake and may have even predated the its darker counterpart. The first brownie recipe appeared in the late 19th century getting its colour from molasses, chocolate did not appear in them until 1906 when it soon became the norm and blonde brownies took a back seat. Like brownies, the texture divides people; some preferring the more light, airy cake whereas some prefer the more dense, gooey version. Brown sugar and vanilla seem to be the base flavours with additions such as white chocolate and nuts.
White chocolate and raspberry is quite possibly one of my favourite flavour combinations, trying John Whaite’s recipe for a white chocolate and raspberry cake is actually what sold me on white chocolate, before then I was not too bothered. After doing a little research I decided it would be the perfect flavour combination to start my foray into blondies with. These did not disappoint and I urge you to try them; easy to throw together, perfect for picnics and tea parties alike.
If you are feeling fancy and love brown butter then you could brown the butter, frankly I was impatient and wanted to eat these ASAP so didn’t bother and the result was still delicious. Do as you feel, it is only an extra 10minutes after all. The demerara sugar initially confused me, I haven’t used demerara in anything but coffee forever, but stick with it, it adds to the delicious texture.
White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies
[adapted from Felicity Cloake in The Guardian]
- 165g unsalted butter
- 175g light brown sugar
- 50g demerara sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp fine sea salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 170g white chocolate, roughly chopped (or white chocolate chips)
- 16 raspberries (about 75g)
Preheat the oven to 200°c fan and grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, once melted add both sugars, stir together and put to one side to cool slightly.
In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Once the butter mixture has cooled whisk in the eggs, slowly once all the egg is in give it a good whisk together.
Now gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour until no streaks of flour are visible, then stir in the white chocolate. Pour into your prepared tin before pushing your raspberries gently into the surface in a grid pattern. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out practically clean. Like brownies these will be gooey in the middle so err on the side of caution when keeping them in the oven for longer.
Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack before turning them out and cutting into 16 pieces around those lovely raspberries.