Strawberry Cheesecake Blondies – Summer themed experimentation

Hello one and all! Sorry for the recent radio-silence: work and holiday time has kept me away from the kitchen and computer. It has been a wonderful Jubilee weekend (even if I’ve been avoiding the hype) – lots of socialising with friends, but back to work/reality tomorrow.

So, Summer is here and there are berries everywhere! It’s wonderful! I love strawberries, especially Scottish strawberries (they are the sweetest and most flavourful ones you’ll get in Europe, in my opinion) – and as soon as they are in season I find myself buying them a couple of times a week, easily.

But I’ll admit that I have great difficulty using fresh fruit in baking: everything just seems to go wrong! The fruit sinks to the bottom of the cake, the batter doesn’t cook through, the flavour of the fruit isn’t strong enough for the cake. My fruit based failures are something I want to sort out, so I went into experiment mode!

I’ve made Brownies often enough (and I’ll post a recipe for super-rich and super-low-cal Brownies at some point) but I’ve never made Blondies before. I thought strawberry Blondies would work pretty well, and they’d be nice to take into work for afternoon tea before the holiday weekend. And so Strawberry Cheesecake Blondies happened!

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Makes 18 pieces

Ingredients

  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 250g fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, chopped
  • 1 pack (30g approx) of strawberry fruit flakes or similar (optional – give a concentrated flavour)
  • Up to 80g low fat cream cheese (add until you reach a colour you like!)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease an 18cm x 28cm (base) rectangular slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides. Melt butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

  2. Put the strawberries into a pan with a tablespoon of water and a little sugar, and heat until the fruit becomes very soft. Strain the fruit over a bowl, discard the pulp and return the juice to the pan, and add the fruit flakes if using. Reduce the juice until it gets a bit syrupy. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the cream cheese.
  3. Add sugar, eggs and sifted flours to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then swirl in the strawberry mix but not too heavily. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until edges are firm and top golden. Cool in pan.

I took the basic recipe from the recipe for Cherry Blondies at: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21747/cherry+blondies and then adapted it.

I had a couple of goes at this – the first one was nice, but rather weak. The second (as pictured) were better but still quite delicate. As these were for work colleagues I didn’t do the third experiment (which I will for a future post) which would be Strawberry and Black Pepper Blondies! I think these would work rather well, and I’d like to try a couple of experiments with strawberry and balsamic vinegar at some point soon. If you have any suggestions for strawberry flavour combinations I’d be delighted to hear them 🙂

 

 

 

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