Friday 9 November 2012

Foodie Friday - My Take On Rachel Allen's Peanut Butter And White Chocolate Blondies

As much as I love cheese and crisps, I have to admit I have a serious sweet tooth too, hell I just love food in general! I love cakes and baked goodies in particular but trying to stick to a gluten and wheat free diet can be really tough, and certain things get me every time, doughnuts, cream horns, maple and pecan plaits and real pizza in particular but I do try and me and Mummy Lou always like to try and experiment with recipes, and to try and make things gluten free. Sometime it works sometimes it doesn't. Gluten is a strange thing is basically holds things together and allows things to be more flexible, pastry is a nightmare to deal with when you make it with gluten free flour, it's hard job to keep it from crumbling, and cakes are the same and usually disintegrate into a pile of crumbs when you try to cut them.

As you might already know I love cookery programmes, they are a real addiction of mine, and recently I was reminded of a recipe from Rachel Allen's Bake that I'd made before and  that I'd successfully made gluten free. The recipe is for an amazing sweet treat - Blondie's, a Blondie is like a chocolate brownie but contain no cocoa, or dark or milk chocolate, it's just a normal sponge coloured (blond!) squidgy cake that generally contains white chocolate chips. The recipe I'm showing you here is pretty much the original one by Rachel Allen, from the book and the TV series "Bake", it's also available along with many more of her recipes on the Good Food Channel website, but at the end I'll tell you how I altered it to make it gluten free - Enjoy x Oh and apologies if your a nut allergy sufferer this recipe does contain nuts :(

Rachel Allen's Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies 

125g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
100g  Room Temperature Butter (Plus Extra For Greasing)
150g Crunchy Peanut Butter
175g Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
75g White Chocolate Chopped

1. Preheat your oven to around 170°c - meanwhile grease the sides of a 20 x 20 square cake tin, and line the base with greaseproof or do what I've done and buy silicone bake wear - you would think this stuff would melt but it doesn't and nothing sticks to it even without greasing - essential equipment if you are baking gluten free goodies that break easily :)

2. Weigh out the peanut butter and the butter and put them into a large bowl. Mix them together tell their smooth and combined

3. Add the sugar and mix in till combined

4. Now mix in the chopped chocolate (I chopped mine in two stages in the food processor to get a nice combination of small and large pieces)

5. Then sieve in the flour and the baking powder

6. Mix the ingredients together it will be a bit thick, stodgy and sticky but don't panic

7. Break the egg into a small bowl and beat together with the vanilla extract

8. Add the egg mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix well - the result should be quite a moist sticky dough

9. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth out the top - pop into your preheated oven for about 30 minutes

10. When it's done the blondies should be golden brown but they should still feel quite soft to the touch 

12. Leave them to cool in the tin, they will firm up as they cool, then remove from the tin and cut into small squares. The should be firm on the outside and still a bit squidgy in the middle. You can eat them as they are or you can eat them slightly warm either from the over, or you can warm them in the microwave and eat them with cream of ice cream - warning these are very rich and luscious and you don't need to eat many of them for that sugar high!

Making It Gluten Free

This is a pretty easy conversion to be honest. First of all make sure that your peanut butter, your white chocolate and your baking powder are gluten free, most brands are now but it's good to check and make sure. Secondly stating the obvious but you need to replace the flour with plain gluten free flour. Again this is widely available now under the Doves Farm banner and some supermarkets including Asda, and M&S, do their own, this is Asda's I'm using here. Basically follow the recipe as normal up until it comes to adding the eggs, add one egg and see what your mixture looks like, mine actually looked pretty dry even after adding the egg. Gluten free flour seems to absorb liquid differently to normal flour, so what I did was add another egg, which lead to the consistency you can see in step 8 - just play it by eye, if you think it needs a bit more liquid then add another egg or even a little bit of milk or water. My blondies were probably a tiny bit softer and crumbly than they would have been if they'd been made with normal flour but they still tasted fine. My final gluten free tip, invest in some silicone bake wear. You can get this from a lot of places now, I've even spotted some bits in Poundland. It might look a bit odd putting rubbery plastic into the oven but believe me they are fabulous. Nothing sticks to this stuff, and it makes removing fragile gluten free cakes, pies and biscuits a breeze -  you really need some in your life if your a gluten free baker -  I have a blue and a red set both from QVC :)

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and  that some of you also found my gluten free conversion tips useful, people make out that gluten free baking is hard it's not it just needs a bit of thought and a bit of trial and error. This is a really easy recipe to make, and they are so moreish whether your a gluten free chick like me or whether your can eat whatever you want ;) If you have any questions please leave me a comment I love reading what you have to say xx

1 comment:

I love hearing what you have to say so leave me a comment and let me know your thought x My comments are moderated at the moment but that means that I read every single one of them so don't be shy, have your say x