There’s something so comforting about a chocolate brownie. No matter how audaciously rich it is, it feels like a cuddle, direct from the oven. The brownie’s sister, the blondie is a less predictable baked treat. It could be a mild-mannered vanilla version or it could be—like this one—a funky, chunky punk-rock surprise, with a bass line of sugar and white chocolate overlaid with the crunch of pistachios and the tart bite of raspberries.
Lesley Russell notes that blondies are generally made with brown sugar but she finds that a combination of white and brown works better for this recipe. “They tend to be sweet so you’ll only need a small piece—but they are also very moreish.” If you don’t eat them all at once, you can freeze them, or they will store well in an airtight container for a week.
Keep some handy in case Blondie lead singer Deborah Harry calls by to reminisce about that time in 1980 when she hosted a tea party at a hotel in London for Chrissie Hynde, Siouxsie Sioux and other female musical luminaries of the day.
So, what kinds of outrageous, room-trashing antics did these hard-core, rock-and-roll trailblazers get up to together? Not much, Harry told an interviewer from The Guardian in 2014. “We talked a bit and had some tea.”
To our enduring disappointment she did not disclose what they ate that day but we can’t help hoping blondies were on the menu. Something like these.
- Heat the oven to 175C. Line a 25 centimetre x 16 centimetre slice tray with baking paper.
- Chop 100 grams of the chocolate into chunks and set aside.
- Put the remaining chocolate and the butter into a small bowl and melt together over barely simmering water or in a microwave on low heat. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- Weigh the sugar into the Thermomix and process 1 second/Turbo. Add the eggs and mix together 5 seconds/speed 3.
- Scrape down the bowl and insert the butterfly. Mix 5 minutes/37 degrees/Butterfly/speed 3.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the flour, pistachios, cooled chocolate mixture, then reserved chopped chocolate. Mix together gently 20 seconds/Butterfly/speed soft.
- Remove the butterfly and stir gently to incorporate any unmixed flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out.
- Scatter the raspberries over the top, then press them in.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. When they are done, the blondies will have a sheen on the surface and will be set in the centre; they shouldn’t be wobbly. If you feel the blondies are getting too brown before they are set, turn the oven down to 170C.
- Cool the blondies with a tea towel over the top so they cool more slowly—this minimises the cracking on the surface. Cool for several hours, then cut into squares.
AND … If using frozen raspberries, use them in their frozen state