Thursday, 30 August 2012

Peppermint Blondies

I am hooked on mint humbugs at the moment and have come up with this recipe in homage to their caramelly mintiness. I think the combination works incredibly well, with the smooth flavour of the white chocolate, vanilla and muscovado spiked with the peppery perfume of the mint. I've given the mint half of the blondies a cheeky little tint with green food colouring which you can omit if you'd prefer, although leaving it in gives them a real visual wow factor.

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 40-45 Mins
150g Unsalted Butter (Cut into small cubes)
150g White Chocolate (Broken up)
200g Ground Almonds
175g Light Muscovado Sugar
25g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
3 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Peppermint Extract
1tsp Green Food Colouring

Right, time to get your bake on! Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3, grease a 21cm square baking tin and line with baking paper. Melt the butter with the white chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave if you're confident in your timings. When it's all creamy and unctuous remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. In a large bowl mix together the almonds, sugar, flour and baking powder. I actually do this with my hands as it helps smooth out any lumps in the sugar. Pour in the buttery chocolate and mix to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Spoon about half the mixture into a new bowl (You don't have to be precise). For half of the mixture stir in the vanilla and for the other half mix in the peppermint extract and green food colouring. Spoon the vanilla mixture into the prepared tin and smooth to the edges. Blob the peppermint mixture on top and even out with the back of a spoon or palette knife. You don't want to mix the two together too much so be as gentle as you can. Place in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes until a metal skewer can be removed cleanly, then remove and leave in the tin for 30 minutes. Very carefully turn out onto a wire rack, leave to cool completely then slice into squares and serve to your adoring audience!

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