I’ve done a bad thing: I’ve created a monster.
At the weekend we were summoned to a house party in Norwich. It was a reunion, tinged with celebration: birthdays, homecomings, housewarmings and general good times, all rolled into one. And at its heart? A shedload of cakes.
There were Mexican Sugar Cookies (rounded chunks of crunchy, crumbly dough), the warmest, most splendiferously gooey Banana Bread, two beautiful swirls of Chelsea Buns (home-made, with a toffee apple filling) and – lurking in the gloom of the living room corner – the creature I’d concocted in my lab.
A White Chocolate and Cranberry Blondie.
The beast came into being on Friday night: a bastardised version of your average brownie, adapted for a Norwich friend who can’t eat normal chocolate. On the surface it looked almost normal: a pale golden tinge with cranberry studs. But beneath that, it was pure naughtiness.
Sugar, butter, eggs, golden syrup, white chocolate – all barely cooked and as sticky as a vat of honey. When people attempted to cut themselves a piece, its innards clutched their knives, squelching in displeasure. Indeed, as puddings go, it was fairly anti-social. Not like the other cakes, which could be grabbed and nibbled with ease. To eat the Blondie, you needed dedication and a spoon – and perhaps a few minutes alone in the corner.
It was worth it though.
If you didn’t mind missing the conversation to jab away into its tinny lair, the monster was pretty rewarding. More like fudge than cake, I’d say – but delicious, nonetheless. The cranberries offset the sugar slightly (as I hoped they would), and the whole thing melted in the mouth rather blissfully. You couldn’t have too much at once though (believe me: I tried).
If you want to make it yourself, but don’t much fancy the mess, I expect a few more minutes in the oven would probably tame the beast. However, if you’re like me (and attracted to the sloppy side), you might want to take it out early.
Anyway. Enough of my jabbering.
Here, for your general pleasure and delight, is the monstrous recipe in full. It is a creature of my own devising. I very much hope you like it:
White Chocolate and Cranberry Blondie – makes enough to please about12 normal people – or, alternatively, 6 Pud-Hogs
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 60g golden syrup
- 250g broken white chocolate (the cheap stuff will do if you’re strapped for cash)
- 4 medium free-range eggs (whisked)
- 70g plain flour
- 80-100g dried unsweetened cranberries (or however many you fancy)
NB: If you’re not a cranbo fan, a couple of good alternatives are dried apricots and sour cherries.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees (or 150 if it’s a fan oven)
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup over a medium heat until the mixture is completely smooth
- Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until it is melted
- Add the whisked eggs and beat into the mixture
- Add the flour and beat until all the lumps are gone
- Pour into greased (and lined) trays (or cupcake cases, if you prefer). The mixture should be about an inch deep
- Sprinkle the cranberries over the top
- Bake for 20 minutes
Once the beast is cooked and out, you can either attack while it’s hot (not a bad idea by any means), or wait until it’s had some time to set inside the fridge.
Whatever you do, be prepared. This is a new level of naughtiness. So don’t blame me when you get as big as the Michelin man.