went away for a day on a food writing course run at Otter Farm by Diana Henry. So I asked Jessi and Issy to cook lunch for the four remaining adults.
When I got back I asked if lunch was a success, and there were resounding votes of confidence. The main course was an exotic Israeli dish – Night Kitchen Inspired dish of cauliflower, tahini and boiled egg.
And the thing-to-eat-with-coffee also got a resounding thumbs up. I asked what they’d had and the Chief Taster said “whities”. I raised an eyebrow. “Yes, whities”, he confirmed with confidence, “that’s to say, not ‘brownies’. It was excellent”.
And to think that the Chief Taster hates white chocolate!
As a final test I tried making them again, and took them into my workplace. A particularly appreciative colleague emailed me encouragingly:
“Could you please send me the recipe for the rhubarb blondies you’ve brought in? They are fab! Thanks for treating us on a Friday afternoon.”
SO – a recipe to feel really confident about!
Recipe for Precocious pink and whities
Makes about 20
- 400g/14 oz rhubarb
- 150g/¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsps good quality Madagascan vanilla bean paste
- Juice and zest of a lime
- 1”/2 cm ginger
- 150g/5 oz/three-fifths of a brick of butter, plus a bit more for greasing
- 210g/1⅔ cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 350g/1¾ cups soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 200g/7 oz white chocolate
- 100g/4 oz toasted, flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- Line a baking tin with silicon paper.
- Cut the rhubarb into 2”/5 cm lengths. Spread over the baking tin, and sprinkle over the caster sugar.
- Put small blobs of the vanilla paste dotted around over it.
- Grate over the lime zest, and squeeze over the juice.
- Grate over the ginger.
- Roast for 15 minutes (the rhubarb should be just cooked through). Take out and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile roughly chop the white chocolate.
- When the rhubarb is cool, drain off the syrup – use as a sort of coulis for something else.
- Grease and line the baking tin with baking or silicon paper. Grease the baking paper if that’s what you are using.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the soft brown sugar and the butter. Add the egg. Sieve in the flour and salt. Whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
- Then stir in the chocolate and half the almonds.
- Spread three-quarters of the batter over the bottom of the baking tin.
- Spread the rhubarb over that.
- Dot over the remaining batter.
- Bake for about 20 minutes – the batter should be cooked, but still gooey.
- Take out, leave to cool, and then cut into chunks.
It doesn’t take long. Listen to Blondie singing The Tide Is High as you mix and stir.