Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rose and Pistachio Blondies - We Should Cocoa; August

August's We Should Cocoa challenge was set by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog. Carrying on with the seasonal theme, she challenged us to use roses in some form, in our chocolate based product. I have to admit that I wasn't very excited by this challenge, perhaps because roses suggests something more delicate than the things I usually bake. It's also a flavour that I haven't used before, so I was unsure how a rose flavoured product would be received by other family members.

By the time I got round to baking these, I'd already had two attempts to make rose sugar, which hadn't really worked, so I bought some rose water and dried the petals of a deep red rose for this recipe.

After some thought I decided that the flavour of the rosewater would probably be overwhelmed by dark chocolate, and that if I wanted the roses to be visible in the final product I would have to use white chocolate again. Blondies were my first thought, even though I made blondies for June's challenge. To contrast with the sweetness of this I decided to add cocoa nibs. The final decision was to add pistachio nuts for a pleasing colour combination of pink, black and pale green.

Because of my concerns about using rose flavour, I only made a small batch of these blondies. The recipe could easily be doubled and cooked in a 20cm square tin for a few minutes longer.

30g butter
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
100g white chocolate
1 egg
1 teaspoon rosewater
75g plain flour
scant 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
40g chopped pistachio nuts
25g cocoa nibs
dried petals of 1 red rose, shredded

Heat oven to 160C and prepare a loaf tin, or a 22 x 10cm (9 x 4") shallow tin.
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.
Heat the butter, sugar and water in a saucepan until the butter has melted, then add the chopped white chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat.
Beat in the egg, then stir in the rosewater.
Add the flour mix and fold in, then mix in the pistachios, cocoa nibs and rose petals.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a test probe is clean. Cool in tin.
Cut the cake into bars for serving.

I was surprised at how strongly flavoured the rosewater was; I think I could easily have made something with plain chocolate without masking the flavour. I'd expected the scent of roses but these blondies also tasted strongly of Turkish Delight. The pistachios, cocoa nibs and rose petals gave a great multi-coloured speckled look to the bars (thankfully the petals kept a lot of their colour) and the nuts and nibs gave some crunch to the texture.

Overall I was very pleased with these, but I don't think they are likely to become a regular item in my repertoire.


Chele said...

What a shame the rose sugar didn't work out for you but what fantastic looking blondies!! I love blondies so these babies defo get my seal of approval lol

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Well they look really good! I love rose as a flavouring so I'm into these too. Can't wait to bake mine!

Nicola said...

They look delicious. I love the sound of turkish delight flavoured blondies.

Baking Addict said...

These look great! I'm still working on my rose creation.

snowy said...

These look delicious.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

These look really pretty.

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

I want to play but I don't really like rose scented chocolate so I will hold on and see what the cocoa gang come up with next.... They do look pretty though!

C said...

They look lovely, I love the combination of all the different colours in that final photo. I'm very impressed that you managed to create your own recipe incorporating rose, I'm still struggling with what to do!

Suelle said...

C - it was an adaption of a blondie recipe I've used before. Unfortunately the original link is broken and I can't find the recipe now.

Choclette said...

These look really pretty, so I'm glad you were pleased with them in the end. But did you like them Suelle? I'm pretty sure I would, being a fan of all things rose flavoured and Pistachio and rose is a classic combination. Thank you for persevering with the rose theme - I do know it's an acquired taste.

Suelle said...

Choclette - I did like the flavour, in small doses. It's the kind of flavour I would like to see included in a selection of cakes for a tea party, but it's quite overwhelming when it's the only cake you have in the house. I was glad I only made a small batch!