As you can tell from the title, I wasn’t quite sure what to call these. What I am sure about, though, is that they are one of the best – if not the best – thing we have ever baked, and really easy as well! They taste a bit of butterscotch, and the spices – especially the cardamom – really come through. Yummy! The recipe comes from Edd Kimber’s ‘The Boy Who Bakes’, and he calls them ‘Speculaas blondies’, but I hadn’t heard of speculaas, which are apparently a Belgian biscuit with the same spice combination. I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between brownies and blondies, either – I think it’s that blondies use lighter coloured sugar…? Anyway these were delicious: incredibly rich, almost like eating sweets, so we cut them into quite small squares (but they got eaten very quickly!) As you can see from the photos, it rose in the oven and then fell in the middle as it cooled which gave it a yummy chewy crust!
1 teaspoon ground ginger
A quarter teaspoon grated nutmeg
A quarter teaspoon ground cloves
An eighth of a teaspoon ground cardamom pods – I used the seeds of about 4 pods, crushed in a pestle and mortar
400g light brown sugar
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
80g chocolate (dark or milk)
– Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line a 23 x 33 cm baking tin (ours was actually more like 20 x 28 cm!). Make sure the greaseproof paper sticks up over the sides in case it rises too much, and to make it easier to remove.
– Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the butter and cook for five minutes, stirring all the time.
– Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
– Add the eggs – as the mixture is still hot they might start cooking straight away so we whisked them beforehand and then whisked the mixture quite quickly as we added them.
– Fold in the flour until just combined (don’t mix it too much) then stir in the chocolate. We added it at the same time as the flour by mistake, so it all melted into the mixture!
– Bake for around 30 minutes until the edges look just cooked.
– Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares – the original recipe says to leave it overnight but we just couldn’t wait that long so cut the first pieces when it was still a bit warm…!