Here’s a festive treat for the adults. The whisky and spices aren’t overpowering, but they certainly make their presence known (in a very tasty way, of course.)
Makes: 16 squares
Time: 40 – 45 minutes + cooling time
Equipment: A 20cm/8” square tin
- 50ml/1fl oz whisky
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 125g/4½ oz raisins & sultanas
- 200g/7 oz white chocolate – 150g/5½ oz to melt; the rest kept as pieces
- 100g/3½ oz butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
- An orange
- 100g/3½ oz white caster sugar
- 100g/3½ oz self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- Icing sugar to dust
Prep. Pour the whisky into a shallow bowl and warm it. (microwave about 25 – 30 seconds, depending on power.) Stir in the spices then the dried fruit. Cover and leave, ideally overnight.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Butter and line the tin with baking parchment.
2. Either in a bain marie or the microwave, melt together 150g/5½ oz of the chocolate and all the butter. Put aside to cool a little.
3. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the vanilla extract, orange extract (if using) plus the zest and juice of half the orange. Stir in the sugar. (Keep half the orange to use the zest later for decorating the blondies)
4. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, the reserved chocolate pieces and the whisky soaked fruit with any remaining liquid.
5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients. Gently fold in with a large metal spoon until everything is fully combined. Pour into the tin and level.
6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then cut and remove, or take out in one piece. Cool fully on a wire rack and decorate the top with icing sugar and the remaining orange zest.
NB 1 Although this is an “adult” blondie, the whisky is not overpoweringly strong. If you really want a bigger “hit” add in a good glug at stage 4. You might need an extra few minutes of oven time and no driving.
NB 2 If you want the spices to be stronger then add a little more of each at stage 5 with the flour and other dry ingredients.
NB 3 If you want a non alcoholic version replace the whisky with orange juice.
I hope you enjoy these blondies. Here are a few more of my tasty festive bakes, all of which are accessible via this link: Ian’s Christmas collection.