Brownies vs Blondies. Can you pick a side?!
If, like me you are fan of light vanilla blondies as much as rich dark chocolate brownies and can’t choose which to make, well… MAKE BOTH! Double trouble, super chocolatey nutty rich and delicious and refined white flour free… there is no excuse to say no.
This time there was an occasion for such a decadent pudding. My, not so snotty, little brother’s birthday.
As a chocoholic, with a dislike of all and any cooked/dried (even alcohol soaked) fruit, I was under strict instruction to make anything I liked, as long as it didn’t have any ingredients in it he didn’t like. All of the following were forbidden from the baking tin.
- Apples, Pears, Plums… every other possible fruit.
- Raisins, sultanas, dates, prunes… etc
- Vodka soaked blackberries, peaches….you name it
- Oats (apparently they are for breakfast only)
- Any remotely healthy flour (E.g wholemeal, spelt or buckwheat)
On the plus side, the little fuss pot did make an ingredient ‘YES’ list. Please sympathise. The number 1 (and only) was CHOCOLATE.
- Chocolate: White, and milk (no dark) buttons, bars, etc…
- For the cake: Whatever batter just make sure the chocolate is gooey and moist.
How could I have made anything other then my double chocolate brownie/blonde throwdown. Rich, decadent and nothing short of pure Nigella style indulgence, it is a true celebration of chocolate. To make this as good as it was I went with the best quality ingredients I could find. As a bit of a stickler for organic, where possible, I opted for good ole Green & Blacks. Their white chocolate in particular has just the right amount of vanilla and sugar, its rich but not sickly like the cadbury’s crap.
Since nuts weren’t on the NO list I went town. If you aren’t a fan then feel free to omit them.
For any chocoholics looking for a quick fix, check out my Cheats Chocolate Tart. Its another choccy fave of mine.
Walnut Brittle Blondies
- 75g chopped walnuts
- 2 tbs water
- 275g coconut sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g white chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 225g white spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Prepare a baking tray, for the walnut brittle by lining it with oil
First make the walnut brittle by heating 100g sugar with the 2 tbs of water. Bring the Sugar mixture to the boil and let it bubble until the sugar turns golden. This will take about 10 minutes. You can test if the sugar is ready by dropping a little of the sugar in cold water. If the syrup set in a hard ball then it is ready to mix the walnuts through. Turn the walnuts onto the oiled sheet and set aside to set.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
Line a large baking tray (approximately 20′-30′) with baking parchment, or grease liberally with butter and dust with flour.
Melt the butter and white chocolate, in a bain marie, over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted add the remaining sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well (addd a little water or milk if needed to loosen the mixture.) Sift in the flour and baking powder, using a spatula to fold the dry ingredients through the batter. Break up the Walnut brittle into little chunks and stir through the batter.
Pour the Blondie batter into the base of the baking tray. Set aside while making the brandy brownie batter.
Brandy Spiked Brownies
- 300g dark 70% cocoa chocolate
- 125g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 100g coconut sugar
- 100g unrefined cane sugar
- 125ml brandy
- 175g white spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 100g chopped hazelnuts
Rinse out the bowl use to melt the white chocolate and butter together. Reuse the bain marie to melt 200g dark chocolate and the butter.
In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and the sugar, until the mixture looks pale and moussey. Add the melted chocolate to the sugar and egg mixture and beat well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through until combined.
Finally add the Brandy to the chocolate batter and stir to combine.
Break the remaining 100g dark chocolate into small squares and dot over the top of the blondie batter. Carefully pour, or pipe, over the Brownie batter. Top with the chopped nuts and place the baking tray in the oven.
Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160 degrees and cook for a further 15 minutes.