Last week I decided I was going to make the ultimate blondies – imagine brownies, but the focus is brown sugar and white chocolate instead of white sugar and milk/dark chocolate, giving you the same gooey texture you’d expect from brownies, but with more of a butterscotch flavour. Not only was I going to make the best blondies, but I was going to make them without a recipe, just using my eye and my taste buds to get the best result. Obviously, what followed were three terrible batches of blondies that firmly put me in my place. That being said, I did learn a lot about the chemistry of baking, from the first ‘too eggy’ batch to the second ‘swimming in butter’ batch to the third ‘way overbaked’ batch. Which brings me to batch number four; a recipe that I am proud of, enough to share it here.

Growing up, Mum’s cakes would always be flavoured with a hint of rose water, so it was a no brainer for me to follow suit here. Together with the flavours and textures of toasted pistachios and white chocolate chips, this recipe is a Middle Eastern twist on a classic American treat.   

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 (gooey) to 25 minutes 
Makes: 16 blondies

150g white chocolate

100g unsalted butter
200g (1 cup) brown sugar (I used light muscovado)
85g (2/3 cup) plain flour

2 large eggs
3 tsp (1 tbsp) rose water
100g (3/4 cup) white chocolate chips
60g (1/2 cup) pistachio kernels
¼ tsp fine salt
Sprinkling of rose petals to decorate (optional

1. Set your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. 

2. Toast your nuts! This releases their natural oils and really enhances their flavour. Put your nuts on a baking try, and put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.  

3. Roughly chop the white chocolate and butter up and put together in a heatproof bowl. Melt together, either in the microwave, or on the stovetop over a pot of simmering water (follow this link for more instructions). Once melted, stir together and set aside until cooled down.

4. Next, whisk in brown sugar. Don’t worry if at this point it looks as though it has split – it reincorporates when the eggs are added in the next step.

5. Whisk in 2 eggs, one at a time. 

6. Add rose water and salt, and whisk until blended.

7. Whisk in flour.

8. Roughly chop the cooled nuts and fold into the blondie mixture, then fold in the white chocolate chips.

9. Line a tin with baking paper, and pour in your mixture. If you have some, sprinkle dried rose petals over the top, and put into the oven. 

10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. Once baked, leave to cool completely (good luck with that!) before slicing it up into portions. Enjoy!

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