Blondies with White Chocolate and Cranberries

Amongst my usual tasting crowd there are a few folk who don’t like dark chocolate. Last week I re-made my Marbled Cheesecake Brownies for them, so this week, I’m using white chocolate.

Adam Byatt’s Cranberry Blondies recipe from the Great British Chefs website was a great starting point; I’ve made them gluten-free and added a few spices and darker sugar.

Makes: up to 30 depending on size

Ingredients

  • 250g white chocolate, broken into squares
  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes; plus additional to grease tin
  • 110g gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 280g golden caster sugar (white will suffice)
  • 5 large eggs (they should be 62-68g each when weighed in the shell)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, 1/2 of finely grated zest only
  • 100g dried cranberries (up to 150g if you like)

Kit

  • A 9x12″ / 23x30cm standard traybake tin
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • A saucepan which fits a medium mixing bowl over
  • 1 medium mixing bowl, 1 large mixing bowl, plus a small bowl for beaten eggs
  • A sieve
  • A spatula
  • Cooling rack

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C  (180 C fan-assisted). Very lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tin and line fully with paper. Leave an overhang of paper along each long side for ‘handles’ to lift out later.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and butter in a medium bowl over a pot of gently simmering water on the hob over a very low heat (ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), stirring regularly. Ensure it doesn’t start to colour, or get so hot it starts to burn. Remove the bowl to a cooling rack.
  3. Whilst the chocolate’s melting, sift the flour, baking powder, and spices into a large mixing bowl.
    Add the sugar, and stir together.
  4. Beat the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  5. Stir the melted chocolate with a spatula and pour into the dry ingredients; stir well until fully combined and you have no lumps.
  6. Add the eggs and 1/2 of the dried cranberries to the mixture, and mix again until fully combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin. Sprinkle over the remaining dried cranberries (this is to avoid having all the cranberries sink to the bottom whilst baking as per Adam’s picture).
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until the edges are set but the centre is still slightly soft.
  9. Remove the tin from the oven to a cooling rack. Leave to cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving. (You can grate some white chocolate over when just out of the oven as per the Topping Suggestions footnote.)

Customising
If you prefer to leave out the spices and lemon zest (which Adam’s recipe don’t include), you can do that. I’ve said before I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I added those to counterbalance the sweetness – it also makes the blondies a bit more Christmassy.

I like golden caster sugar as it adds a teensy caramel-y taste; but note that the colour of the blondies will be darker than if you use white caster (as per the recipe photos).

I’ve also added a touch of vanilla because it works well with the taste of cranberries.

Topping Suggestions
You could grate some more white chocolate over the top – I’d do this when just out of the oven, so it can melt slightly and stick to the top.
Or, you could dust the top with icing sugar once the blondies are fully cooled.

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