Friday, 10 June 2011

Blondies with Strawberries - for 'We Should Cocoa'

You might think this is cheating, but eating something with strawberries on the side is the only way I'm going to be able to put an entry into this month's 'We Should Cocoa' challenge. I can't incorporate strawberries into a cake or dessert because, believe it or not, not everyone here likes them!

I'd been thinking carefully since the June challenge was announced, about flavours which go well with strawberries, and had decided on white chocolate and orange before I saw this recipe for White Chocolate Blondies from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Talk about providence - his blondies contain white chocolate in abundance, coconut, orange and cardamom and he recommends eating them with strawberries! What could be better? I could argue that the strawberries are part of the recipe, not just an afterthought!

The recipe was a little complex to follow, and seemed to use lots of bowls and spoons, but  it wasn't difficult. The only part which might prove a problem is the difficulty of melting some brands of white chocolate properly, but here it is melted with the butter in the recipe, and Hugh warns not to let it overheat. I used Menier White Chocolate, recommended for  baking and desserts. For once, I followed the recipe exactly!

The resulting blondies were delicious, with the orange and cardamom giving a subtle flavour which cuts through the sweetness; despite 300g white chocolate, desiccated coconut and more sugar, I didn't find these oversweet. I'm not usually a great fan of white chocolate, but I really liked these. Eating them with macerated strawberries added another dimension - the fruit really complimented the flavours in the blondie.

My only criticism comes from calling them a Blondie - they were really light in texture and I like my blondies and brownies to be dense and chewy. I think I would really describe these as squares of cake, but then the name White Chocolate and Coconut Squares doesn't sound half so glamorous, does it?

18 comments:

MissCakeBaker said...

They look and sound delicious! Now there's an idea for the challenge putting the strawberries on the side ;-)

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...

Yummy! I too am funny enough finding it a little tricky this month- would chocolate dipped strawberries count?? These sound great!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

you could have made a strawberry sauce and drizzled it on top... but I like your way just as good... and the blondies look very good x

Katie said...

I love the sound of the coconut and cardomom in there. Very indian inspired and a great change from just the white chocolate. Delicious

Suelle said...

Strawberry sauce would be great with these, Dom. Brilliant idea!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I like the sound of these a lot and I definitely don't consider strawberries on the side to be a cheat. In fact cake with berries on the side is one of my favourite desserts.

C said...

They do look particularly delicious. The combination of flavours is intruiging as well - I would never have thought to combine all of those flavours, but it's good to know they work well. I can imagine that the strawberries are very refreshing eaten alongside!

Chele said...

I'm with you, I like my browines and blondies to be dense and fudgy. That said, these babies are very impressive ... and massive! What a treat. Thanks for taking part with us again this month ;0)

Suelle said...

C - it's at times like this that I'm thankful for professional cooks who will do all the testing on flavour combinations, and only present us with the combinations that work. I wonder how many are discarded along the way?

Chele - I cut a 9" square into 16 - large for denser blondie perhaps, but not too big for a more cake-like lighter texture. (Not to mention our large appetities!;) )

Choclette said...

I think this constitutes a chocolate and strawberry bake - these flavours sound an amazing combination. Would never have thought of putting strawberries and coconut together. Not like strawberries! What's going on? I've heard of people being allergic to them, but this is a first for not liking them. I'm with you on the dense and fudgy brownie issue, but I do like the sound of these. Thanks for taking part and coming up with something so interesting.

snowy said...

I love the combination of flavours in the blondies, Suelle. They look good. Great idea of putting strawberries with the cake instead of in it.
ps have changed the settings on my blog as I couldn't post any comments on it either!

Foodycat said...

They look lovely! I wonder how some dried strawberries mixed in with them would go?

Suelle said...

Dried strawberries in the blondie mix is an inspired idea, IMO, Foodycat! Where do you get them from? I've never seen them around here, although Julian Graves sometimes has packs of dried mixed fruit for sprinkling on breakfast cereals.

Aveen said...

They look wonderful! I love the idea of cardamom in them. I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe.

Like you, I live with someone who doesn't like strawberries! I just can't understand how anyone could dislike them when I love them so much!

Baking Addict said...

The flavour combination is intriguing. I like the strawberries on the side - good thinking there for the challenge :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue - thought these looked good when read about them - will definitely try them now.
Shirley

Two fit and fun gals said...

they sound delicious!

Brownieville Girl said...

Cardamom in blondies .... I just have to try these .... yummie!!