13 November 2014

Dirty blondies recipe

I took delivery of some organic cacao nibs the other day. They're roasted cacao beans - the raw ingredient used to make chocolate - and have a similar taste but with about a trillion more health benefits.

A chance to do some healthy cooking! 

Only… it's the wints and my last healthy bake-fest involving pulverised bananas produced some pretty grim, fun-free flapjacks.

So I decided to use the cacao nibs to add a healthy pep to what is otherwise a ridiculously non-good-for-you recipe.

I used Good Housekeeping's blondie recipe as a base and made a few alterations, cutting their sugar measurements to skinny things down a bit and adding cacao nibs instead of white chocolate chips.

I give you my dirty blondies!

Dirty because, like my dyed blonde hair circa 2002, there is a definite brunette hue to them.

That's down to the cacao nibs and, ahem, the milk chocolate chips I had lying about. Would've been rude not to.

Here's what you'll need...

150g unsalted butter, chopped

200g white chocolate, chopped

185g caster sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

3 medium eggs

200g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

50g milk chocolate chips

15g cacao nibs

Here's what to do...

Preheat your oven to 180C and grease an 8inch square tin with baking parchment. 

Melt your butter and white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Keep an eye on it, white choc is especially prone to going grainy if it's overheated. You want it smooth like… erm, chocolate.

Lift the bowl off the pan and set aside to cool slightly. 

Transfer your buttery chocolate to a larger bowl and beat in the sugar, vanilla and eggs until combined. 

Sift over the flour and baking powder. Fold through most of the chocolate chips and most of the cacao nibs.

Pour into your tin, get a knife out and give it a good level, then scatter over your leftover chocolate bits. 

Wang in the oven for… Good Housekeeping told me to 20-25minutes but I ended up giving mine 35minutes. This could be down to my ancient oven. Anyway, keep an eye on it and take it out of the oven when it's just firm. 

Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Demolish.

Cacao nibs have a lot going for them and I loved them in this recipe. They add a nutty, slightly bitter taste which is like a grown-up version of chocolate.

Plus they are amazing health-wise. Gluten free (if you don't stick them in a blondie containing a lot of less angelic stuff, obvs), completely natural, packed with fibre, iron, magnesium…

I also tried sprinkling some on porridge which made for a really delicious breakfast.

The cacao nibs came from Creative Nature, who also happen to make some far more saintly snacks than my dirty blondies.

I munched my way through their Superfood Snack bars, which are raw, cold-pressed and actually delicious. My favourite was their Sublime Seed bar, made with roasted peanuts and hemp and packed with protein.

Creative Nature's products are now available in Tesco. Happy, healthy shopping! 

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