I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Glutton for Punishment

This is another one from Sue Lawrence's Book of Baking. I should have known this was not a good baking book (for me) based on my below experience but I plowed on ahead anyway! Since I've gotten it out of the library for a month, we might very well be stuck with shit recipes for a while. Blondies are not something I've baked before - they just seem so...well, wrong somehow. In any case this recipe was easy and quick - she describes it as a "doddle to make" - and I thought I'd give the book another shot.

280g / 10oz light muscovado sugar (or caster, honestly!)
115g / 4 oz unsalted butter
2 large eggs, beaten
175g / 6oz self raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g / 3.5 oz chopped pecan nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease a deep 23cm / 9 inch square cake or brownie tin.
2. Melt the sugar and butter together in a pan over low heat (or in a microwave) and stir.
3. Gradually add the eggs, beating until smooth. Sift in the flour and a pinch of salt. Stir through the vanilla, and then the nuts (if using.)
4. Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just firm all over. A skewer inserted will have moist crumbs (but not raw batter) clinging to it.
5. Cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and eat.

Review: Ehh. In this case the flavour was really, really good - all caramely and sweet without being cloying. The texture was good too - really chewy, soft, squishy brownie goodness. It ws nice, except... see the picture above? See how nice they looked? Like Madonna and Sean Penn, it didn't last. As the brownies cooled, the entire middle section got flatter...and flatter...and flatter until the outside edges were still nice and high (but texturally great) and the middle was less than 1 cm high (less than half an inch.) (texturally, not great.) We easily devoured the entire thing, but I like my brownies to stay about 2-3 cm high, not become pancakes. So other than the mysterious flattening out (and yes, the flour was fresh), they were pretty damn tasty. I might experiment with this one too - perhaps adding a bit of baking powder to just 'lift' them a bit, or cooking for marginally longer to get the middle a bit firmer. Maybe the issue is the sugar - I'm planning on trying it again with the muscovado, when I find it. Either way a good base recipe which requires more playing but failed in it's initial run. I think I'm into this whole blondie thing now, so if anyone has a good recipe, leave it in the comments and I'll give it a run.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Just so you know it, the photo made me crave these blondies so much - and I don't even have a gum around here to distract me from this craving. :)

I can send you one or more recipes from "Baking: from my home to yours", by Dorie Greenspan - I haven't made any of her blondies, but the photos are quite a teaser. :)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...


You'll just have to make some blondies, then! That recipe literally took less than ten minutes from bowl to oven. Also, who is this Dorie Greenspan woman? I've read about her a TON on loads of other baking blogs, but honestly I'd not heard of her before then. All recipes welcome! :)

- M

Heather said...

we can try out recipes in the book and mess them up together. :0)