Blondies with Pistachio and Cardamom
Welcome to my second guest post, today we have the lovely Vanesther from Bangers and Mash taking over Lavender and Lovage, and what a treat is in store for all of you, as she has baked some Blondies with Pistachio and Cardamom to share with all my readers! Vanesther and I have known each other for over four years now and she has been a guest host for my Cooking with Herbs challenge in many occasions, we have also met a few times too, which is always nice. Today, Vanesther is using one of my favourite spices, Cardamom; it’s a spice that I grew up with when we lived in South Africa, as many Cape Malay recipes have cardamom in them, sweet and savoury, and I try to add it to my cooking whenever I can. A favourite family recipe for afternoon tea (or an elegant tea time scansion) is my Cardamom Rose Cake with Orange Drizzle, as well as my Swedish recipe for Lussekatter, Saffron and Cardamom Sweet Buns. However, today, we have “gorgeously gooey and squishy blondies”, as Vanesther describes them, and I for one cannot wait until I get back from my travels in Canada, to make a batch of these beauties! Thanks to Vanesther for this detectable recipe and see you soon, Karen
It was such a joy to be asked by Karen to write a guest post for her wonderful blog. When I first took up blogging back in 2011 it was to Lavender & Lovage that I took so much inspiration. I’ve always enjoyed Karen’s passion for cooking, writing and photography and if my own blog could succeed in emulating just a smidge of Karen’s creative flair and food know-how, I would be happy. So I am extremely delighted to be bringing you my recipe for blondies today. I hope it measures up to Karen’s standards!
We make a lot of brownies in our house and I have a bit of a thing for experimenting with different additions and flavour combinations. The same recipe rarely gets made twice, although I do return to that trusty old faithful, dark chocolate and walnut, when it comes to baking for bake sales and the like as they’re always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. My personal favourite to date though is chocolate and beetroot brownies, but that position might be up for contention now I’ve I tried these bad boys.
I don’t generally eat much white chocolate; it’s usually too sweet and cloying for me. The children like it though, so I began to wonder about having a go at making blondies for a change, particularly since I’ve been seeing so many pictures of them on my Pinterest stream recently. This was my first attempt and they’re really very good. They’re not as sickly sweet as you might expect from white chocolate. I think that’s too do with the high nut to chocolate ratio in this recipe, resulting in a deliciously mellow caramel flavour as opposed to a pain-in-the-temples sugary assault. Oh and they’re gorgeously gooey and squishy too, just how good brownies (or blondies) should be in my opinion.
But it’s the cardamom that really makes these blondies something special. For me, white chocolate and cardamom are natural bedfellows. In the few recipes I’ve come up with using white chocolate, cardamom usually makes an appearance. It all started with white chocolate and cardamom truffles many years ago, and then in this heavenly white chocolate and beetroot mousse (yes, beetroot’s another favoured ingredient) and these very moreish Christmas cookies. Cardamom is such an incredible spice: fragrant yet earthy at the same time, and perfect to cut through rich, heavy flavours. They got a thumbs up from my children – and the adults – and I hope you enjoy them too. Vansether
About Vanesther Rees
Vanesther is a PR consultant by day and a family food writer by night (and weekends). Her semi-ironically named blog Bangers and Mash charts her adventures trying to feed her family imaginative, interesting and healthy food inspired by cuisines and ingredients from all around the world. She won the Best Blog award at this year’s Food Reader Awards and Best Food Blog in the MADS 2012. Vanesther lives in Somerset with her husband and two daughters aged 10 and 7.
Cardamom Recipes on Lavender and Lovage and Bangers and Mash: