Hot on the heels of baking my successful Lemon Drizzle Traybake, I wanted to try something slightly different to take along for my work mates to enjoy as an alternative to the lemon drizzle. I’ve lost my baking confidence recently and have found recipes I’ve baked time and time again going wrong. I have always managed to bake brownies, though and I thought that I would be fine with the second recipe I wanted to try from The Big Book Of Amazing Cakes.
I wanted to have a go at the White Chocolate and Hazelnut Blondies as I love blondies. So moreish! But I didn’t have any hazelnuts so had to think of some substitutions. I had also seen a recipe with Jammie Dodgers put in the blondies so I thought I’d add those in instead.
The Big Book Of Amazing Cakes is the latest book spin off from the last Great British Bake Off series. It came out in October 2019.
To make the Blondies, I weighed out plain flour, some ground almonds (as I didn’t have any ground hazelnuts), some sea salt flakes and baking powder. I mixed them together in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl I melted some butter in the microwave. To this, I added a mixture of caster sugar and dark brown muscovado sugar.
When this was mixed in, I added beaten eggs, along with some vanilla extract and then folded this all into the flour mix.
At this stage I was also meant to add in some chopped hazelnuts which I didn’t have. I just put in the white chocolate chips which the recipe suggested. At this stage I didn’t read the recipe properly and noticed it asked for 2 tbsp of agave syrup or runny honey. This was meant to be brushed onto the still warm but cooked blondies. Instead I put two tablespoonfuls of honey in the mixture before cooking.
Finally, I used mini Jammy Dodgers to poke into the top of my blondies. Each of these mini packs contains four mini Dodgers and I
used four of the packs to use sixteen biscuits in the blondies. I was expecting them to sit nicely on top of them. I couldn’t wait to taste the blondies.
But my excitement was shortlived. I didn’t have the 22cm square tin as needed. Mine is an 20cm square one and not loose bottomed. The blondies were meant to be baked at 180oC for 25-30 minutes. I had them in for the recommended time but the blondies were still looking raw and wet in the middle. I also didn’t like how the edges had puffed up around, leaving the middle flat as a pancake.
I put the blondies back in the oven for another ten minutes but they seemed to be even more runny and slimy than before. I admitted defeat and took them out of the oven. The recipe said to leave the blondies in the tin for 10 minutes to cool down. This I did but they began to collapse. I was so frustrated as this doesn’t normally happen to me with brownies or blondies. The temporary baking confidence I got from making the lemon drizzle traybake had taken a nose dive again!
Baking disaster: you can make out the slimy and uncooked batter despite my oven being at the correct temperature and the brownies being in the oven for ten minutes longer than the recipe stipulated.
This was the best piece out of the whole batch: one of the corners! The rest looked like road kill!
I would love to know where I went wrong with this recipe. Was it because I didn’t use hazelnuts or that I added the honey to the mixture before baking? I must admit I did not like the taste of the blondies and I was disappointed with how they came out. I asked Mr S what he thought of them and he said he thought the ones around the edge looked ok but he tasted one. He said it tasted very sweet and jammy!
I will test this recipe again at some stage but I’ll try with hazelnuts and leave the Jammy Dodgers out instead!
Love Sam xx