Best-ever blondies

Blondies are one of my go-to baked goods. They are always received well and I’m often asked for the recipe.

They’re moist and not too rich, and you can add whatever you like to them – nuts, fruit, more chocolate – much like these cookies or brownies, you can make them whichever ‘flavour’ you like.

My favourite combination is cherry and almond.

blondies

Ingredients:

  • 400g white chocolate
  • 150g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 200g almond meal
  • 90g plain flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200-300gm of nuts, chocolate or fruit

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180.
  2. Line a baking pan (rectangular).
  3. Melt chocolate and butter.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Stir vanilla into the butter/chocolate mixture.
  6. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until thick.
  7. Add butter/chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar.
  8. Fold in sifted almond meal and flour.
  9. Fold in your extra bits.
  10. Pour into the lined baking pan.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes.
  12. They are best left in the fridge overnight before cutting them up.

 

The combination I made for this post was cherry and Bounty, so a little bit like Cherry Ripe. The Bounty didn’t quite work as expected, but you could definitely get the coconut and cherry.

PS. They make a pretty good gift!

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Christmas sausage rolls

We had a Christmas in July feast last month – because getting married the following weekend wasn’t challenging enough!

We decided to try and keep it fairly traditional, but because I’ve never really experienced a winter Christmas in a traditional English-style setting before, I had to do a lot of Googling to find some dishes that we felt would be traditional enough.

I noticed during my search that a lot of websites had sausage rolls in their list of traditional Christmas fare. I was quite surprised, because obviously sausage rolls here in Australia are pretty casual and are usually served with a couple of beers (or at children’s parties!).

We decided that sausage rolls would be fairly easy to make and cook, so they went on the list. Later, when searching for good recipes, I couldn’t find anything particularly ‘Christmassy’, so I came up with my own – turkey, Camembert and cranberry. I sort of forgot to get more photos than I did, sorry!

Sausage roll mix and testing

Ingredients

  • 1kg turkey mince
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (I buzzed mine up actually)
  • Half a small jar of cranberry jelly
  • 1 Camembert, chopped up
  • 6 sheets of puff pastry
  • Liberal sprinkling of garlic powder (I think about half a teaspoon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

  1. Pull your puff pastry out of the freezer.
  2. Put everything in a bowl, but keep half the cranberry jelly to the side.
  3. Give everything a good mix.
  4. Add the other half of the jelly, but don’t mix it in completely, you’re after little ‘chunks’ throughout the mixture.
  5. By this point, your pastry should be pliable enough that it won’t break. Divide up the mixture into six.
  6. Put one sixth of the mixture on the pastry in a sausage shape and roll it up. I use the plastic that the pastry comes on to assist with this process (bit like a sushi mat). I use a little water on the edge of the pastry to seal it.
  7. Repeat 5 more times. I should say at this point that if you want to make smaller sausage rolls, just put less mixture in the pastry.
  8. Wrap up the rolls and pop them in the freezer until you need them. This will help keep the shape of the rolls when you cut them later.
  9. When you plan on using them, pull the rolls out of the freezer about 20-30 minutes prior to cooking. Don’t let it defrost too much or they will be a pain to cut.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut the sausage rolls  into 8-6 slices (just keep in mind that the narrower they are, the more likely they will fall during the cooking process).
  12. At this point you can put a bit of eggwash on the top and sprinkle some herbs or seeds on top for decorative purposes.
  13. Pop them in the oven and cook until the pastry is golden.

Note: I like to test the mixture before committing to pastry, so I cook a little patty after I’ve mixed all the ingredients together.

I think they were well-received because there weren’t any left over at the end (though, I may have eaten a few myself). I’ll be making these again!

What’s your favourite sausage roll recipe?

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