Sunday, 11 March 2012

Five-minute white chocolate and cranberry blondie recipe

I preface this post about quick-to-make blondies, with the statement: I love slow food. And I am committed to bringing more slow food into my life. But yesterday was not a day for slow food. The sun was shining and I wanted to take advantage of that fully, and, slowly. I spent my day watching old French men trundle past my kitchen window, in waders, carrying fishing poles, and small leather fish purses. This procession of khaki attire marked the opening of the fishing season.

I followed them to the bridge and watched them cast their lines in the river. Standing, patiently for hours, the scene was reminiscent of the film a River Runs Through, sans the young, fresh-faced Brad Pitt. In the stunning film, fly fishing is not officially a religion, but it is a serious spiritual path for certain men. I stood on the bridge near the old mill, and watched the eight French men standing quietly in different parts of the shallow river, waiting patiently for trout. The trout weren’t rising, but the men appeared happy enough, pointing their crinkled noses up, and squiting towards the bright mid-morning sunshine.  

Returning home I got to thinking about baking a quick snack. My friend across the river, the Comptesse, who I wrote about here, makes blondies. Like her salad dressing, the blondies are much praised, and also like her salad dressing, the recipe remains a guarded secret. But I had a hunch blondies could be a one bowl event, such is the Comptesse’s preference for simple foods. She prefers to spend her days outside answering the call of her extensive garden, and stores mail in her oven.

I found this at Simply Recipes. I used this as a base, but made a few tweaks. These sweet treats are incredibly quick and simple to make, and the result is sweet and chewy. As I assumed, all of the ingredients can be mixed into one large bowl with the help of a whisk and a spatula. There’s absolutely nothing fancy (or particularly healthy) about them. They are quick to mix, take 20 minutes to bake, and taste delicious. I added dried cranberries and white chocolate, which provide a contrasting sweetness and tartness to the blondie, not to mention jewel-like bright fuscia inclusions – I do love colourful food. You could also experiment with any combination of nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate.

1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of melted butter, melted
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of chopped white chocolate
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 egg
1 vanilla pod
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly butter the pan. I used individual tins, but you could use a medium size tin. 

Step Two: Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl. Then add the egg and the contents of the vanilla pod. Continue whisking.

Step Three: Add the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the cranberries and chopped white chocolate.

Step Four: Pour into the pan, or muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

And here's a couple of pictures of the trout fisherman and the river yesterday. Enjoy!


Pip said...

Sorry to ruin your imagination but I think you will find the fish are not trout.
I thought the same long ago but a local said they were, if I remember rightly, something like Tench. Very boney and not very good if cooked.
He pointed out that if the fish had been trout you would have had to fight your way to the river for other anglers after their next meal.

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