Coconut Blondies

These white chocolate brownies from a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe are ideal either as a dessert served warm with some mixed berries or on their own with a cup of tea or coffee. White chocolate is a much maligned ingredient, which some feel is an insult to the title of chocolate, but these have a rich subtle flavour. These are of the gooey brownie variety, which is my favourite type.The coconut also gives an added nuance to the flavour.

The original recipe is slightly adapted, as it called for four cardamom pods to be stirred into the mixture. I am not entirely sure how Hugh saw this one playing out. Cardamon is traditionally used to flavour various Indian and Middle Eastern dishes and gives a lovely aromatic flavour. However, biting into a cardamom pod is roughly akin to spraying perfume directly into your mouth, and is an experience which to my mind is best avoided. Having been unable to figure out how one would extract a cardamom pod which had been baked into a brownie, I decided this was best avoided. Makes about 16

Ingredients

  • 80g desiccated coconut
  • Juice and zest of a small orange
  • 80g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 300g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Methods

  • Put the coconut into a small bowl and pour over the orange juice.
  • Stir and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Melt the butter and 200g of the chocolate together in a bain marie (place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water without the bowl touching the water).
  • Heat the oven to 180C/325F/gas mark 3.
  • Grease a standard brownie tin and line with baking parchment.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl with a hand-held mixer until thick and creamy
  • Stir in the vanilla and the melted chocolate mixture until well combined.
  • Add the sifted flour and remaining ingredients to the egg chocolate mix.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and spread to the edges. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides.
  • Cut into squares after cooling for 2-3 minutes if serving as a warm dessert, or leave to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack if these are being stored in a tin.
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