Sun, 5 June, 2016
It was some time before last Easter and I was all excited about making this little number*, the toffee was set and chopped, bananas diced, when I realised I was seriously short on white chocolate. About 50g short. Disaster. Eight in the evening on a Friday night, bucketing down outside and I REALLY couldn’t be bothered to venture out.
I considered adding some milk chocolate for a moment – wrong, that wouldn’t be a blondie any longer, though I am no chocolate racist. I was about to throw in the towel and just eat my brazil nut toffee on its own, all of it, all at once, when the Weather Man said:
- ‘Let’s put Harry into blondie.’
As it turned out he wasn’t having a musical throwback to his early youth (childhood, let’s be honest). He was making sense and didn’t mean Debbie Harry, Blondie or even Heart of Glass.
He meant Harry Hopalot. The Easter bunny. Made of white chocolate. Sitting on a dining room sideboard, waiting to be gifted out at Easter.
Cut it short – Harry gave an arm and a leg to be in the Blondie. I mean – wouldn’t anyone?
*Banana blondie recipe from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet recipe book
banana blondieServings: 16Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 275g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- 75g brazil nuts, chopped
- 100g butter
- 200g white chocolate
- 1 egg
- 2 bananas, peeled and mashed (about 200-250g)
- seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
- 225g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
1. Make the brazil nut toffee ahead of the game: bring 75g of the caster sugar to the boil with the 2 tbsp. of water, cook until the temperature reaches 120C or a drop of the caramel sets to hard ball in a glass of cold water – there will be hardly any caramel left in the pan. Turn off the heat, stir in the chopped nuts, turn it out onto a tray and leave to cool – it will set almost instantly. When it’s cold and set, chop in into small pieces.
2. Line a 20cm square tin with parchment and preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Dice the butter into a bowl, add the chopped chocolate and melt it over a bain-marie or a pan with a little simmering water. Take it off the heat just before it’s all melted, the white chocolate has the propensity to split when heated too much.
3. Transfer the butter and chocolate mixture to a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, add the remaining sugar and beat briefly. Beat in the egg, then the mashed bananas and vanilla until smooth and only small bits of bananas appear. Sift in the flour with the baking powder and fold in, then add the chopped brazil toffee nuts and fold those in. Transfer to the tin.
4. Bake for 35 minutes but check after 30 - it should be still a tiny bit wobbly in the middle.
5. Cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.