Gentlemen Prefer Blondies

I decided to make blondies today. I believe they can be described as being just like brownies but a delicate pale gold in colour instead of the rich dark obvious-chocolate-brown. Let me just preface the rest by saying that from now on I am never going to measure my ingredients perfectly or follow recipes to a T. I will follow instinct for somehow that serves me best.

I wanted to make them with white chocolate too. So they weren’t just going to be blondies, but they’d be white chocolate blondies. I searched the internet for recipes and found only a handful that described the ones on my mind. I decided to tweak the recipes a bit. The following happened:

  • i. When the recipe called for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, I somehow remembered it as 3/4 of a stick. I decided it wouldn’t make a big difference if I only used 1/2 a stick. You see, I made dark chocolate brownies last night and I used one and a half sticks for that, so I had half a stick remaining. After they were ready I found out that 1/2 a stick is actually 1/4 of a cup. In short, I used half the amount of butter indicated in the recipe.
  • ii. There was no whole white chocolate at home, so I used Nestlé’s white chocolate chips. Instead of using a double boiler, I poured the chips and the butter into a large porcelain cup and stuck it in the microwave. I wanted to try it to see how it would turn out. I did get a little afraid when I saw the butter separating while the chips still hadn’t melted completely. I kept stirring occasionally and heating it in 10-second increments. In the end, the mix wasn’t entirely smooth. I refused to let that deter me.
  • iii. Baking powder wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the recipe. Now, this is where you can see how much of a novice I really am. If you want fudge-like chewy brownies, you don’t want it to rise too much, so you don’t use baking powder: It encourages a cake-like texture. I added what seemed like a teaspoon of it.
  • iv. Eggs. The recipe said to use 2 eggs. Since I was using less butter, I thought I would use 3. I, personally, prefer egg whites. In baking, 1 whole egg can be replaced by 2 egg whites, and 4 tablespoons of egg whites = 1 whole egg.Let’s do the math on this, shall we? 3 eggs = 6 egg whites = 24 tablespoons. I used 12. I am going to say that I just wasn’t thinking straight.

I will call these blondies an experiment…

White Chocolate Blondies

Variables:

0.25 cup unsalted butter

8 oz Nestlé white chocolate chips

1.25 cups all-purpose flour

3 egg whites

0.75 tsp salt

0.6 cups fine granulated white sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1 large cup white chocolate chips (to add just before putting it in the oven)

Formula/Procedure:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.

Melt the white chocolate chips and the butter together. Everyone recommends using a double-boiler, but I took a shortcut and microwaved it.

Pour the egg whites into a bowl and mix it with the sugar and the vanilla extract. To this, add the melted chocolate and butter.

Into the above mixture, sift the flour, baking powder and salt and stir it until well-blended. When the texture becomes consistent, add the chocolate chips to it.

Pour the batter into the lined pan and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. It was completely done by then.

Proof:

I switched off the oven and let it sit in there for a few minutes and then put the entire pan into the fridge for about half an hour.

I kid you not, for white chocolate aficionados these blondies may be the most devilishly delicious thing on this planet. They are soft, chewy, chocolatey, melt in the mouth and have the ability to satisfy your entire being.

The experiment was a success, I am very proud of myself and I will continue to tweak recipes in my own way, make substitutions, mathematical errors and miscalculations (which is ironic because math was my major in university).

I must add some sort of disclaimer to say that while these proportions, conditions, temperatures, etc. worked for me, and I hope with all my heart they work for you too, you might have to follow your own instinct to make yours perfect.

QED

Chocolate Banana Cake

Chocolate Banana Cake

I’m not usually good with recipes because I don’t measure anything. My cooking just somehow comes together. But when baking using recipes found on the internet, sometimes I measure, although not too carefully. This is one of those and I tweaked it a little because I did not have vanilla extract (I could have sworn I had a bottle of the pure variety lying around but I just couldn’t find it) and I don’t like to use whole eggs, I rarely have any at home so I used egg whites instead.

Ingredients:

400 g fine, granulated sugar

240 g all-purpose flour

75 g cocoa powder

2.5 teaspoons baking powder

0.5 teaspoon salt

3.5 egg whites

3 mashed overripe bananas

2 teaspoons maple syrup (I used as a substitute for vanilla extract)

240 ml warm water

140 ml milk

120 ml canola oil

Steps:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F/180 deg C.

I measured out the dry ingredients and left them in separate bowls while I mixed and whisked together the water, milk, egg whites, oil, maple syrup and the mashed bananas in a large bowl.

Then, while stirring constantly, I added the sugar and cocoa powder to the wet mix, followed by the flour, baking powder and salt.

I blended the ingredients by a lot of whisking and stirring. The mix remains fairly runny. Line a 9×13 pan with some sort of cooking spray or butter and pour the mix into it. It filled the pan completely with very little room left on top.

I left it in the oven for almost an hour. The instructions where I found this recipe said to bake for 35 minutes, but that wasn’t enough; it was still sticky at that point. Another 20 minutes later, the cake was ready. The upper crust and the sides were fairly crisp and the inside was still moist and a little sticky. No complaints there. It’s chocolate banana cake and tastes just like it: Absolutely delicious.

Breakfast tomorrow morning will consist of a mug of hot coffee and a slice of cold cake.