At the moment, for example, I'm not really supposed to drink alcohol. In time, I should be able to drink 'in moderation' but my doctor looked at me very firmly and told me that binge drinking was out of the question. It was almost like he'd seen me frosting cupcakes with a stinking hangover.
It's not even like I'm a big drinker. The boyfriend and I are most definitely social drinkers and are more likely to put the kettle on than crack open a bottle of wine when we're at home. But, now that I know that I can't really drink, all I want to do is pour myself and gin and tonic even though it's only 10am.
(I would also like to point out that contrary to what most of my colleagues think despite my protestations, I'm not pregnant but I'm a) on medication for the arthritis in my knee and sundry other joints and b) getting fat from eating too much cake)
I made these blondies last Friday, early in the morning, but I didn't get a chance to photograph them until mid-afternoon. Despite the fact that there was still plenty of light out when I was shooting, when I loaded the pictures onto my laptop a couple of hours later, I realised that everything had the strange orange cast of artificial light which no amount of editing could correct. Quite apart from that, the pictures themselves didn't work. They were too dark, too brown, too dull.
All I wanted to do was grab my camera and those blondies which I'd managed to refrain from eating and re-shoot. By this time, however, it was too dark to get a proper shot and I knew that I was going to have to wait until the next morning. Chances were that if there was good enough light, I would have chosen to wait quite happily but the fact that I *couldn't* take the pictures, rather than just not wanting to, was incredibly frustrating.
Plus it meant that I had to make sure that there were enough blondies left the next day to photograph - probably the hardest challenge of all.
I made brown butter blondies a couple of months ago which went down a storm at home. I felt, however, that there was a little something lacking though, something that stopped them being outstanding. I've been thinking about revisiting the recipe for a while and decided to 'Autumn-up' the recipe with the addition of little chunks of apple, a scattering of dark chocolate chips and the subtle kick of spice. It was a wise move.
I've also entered these blondies in the October challenge from UK star baker Ruth Clemens (aka The Pink Whisk) for recipes involving apple - there are sure to be lots of amazing entries throughout the month!
Apple spice brown butter blondies (makes approx 12)
Adapted from Martha Stewart
190g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar*
100g light brown sugar
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger (or cinnamon if you prefer, I just dislike it quite a lot)
100g dark chocolate chips
2 apples, chopped into chunks
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 11 x 7 inch baking tin with butter.
2. In a saucepan, heat the butter until starts to bubble and turns brown (5 - 10 minutes). Take it off the heat once brown and allow it to cool.
3. Beat the sugar and cooled butter (making sure to get all those little brown bits at the bottom of the pan together until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and fold into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and stir in. When combined, pour the batter into your baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out cleanish with no raw batter attached.
5. Allow to cool in the pan before turning onto a wire rack. Cut into pieces as desired.
* I actually ran out of dark brown sugar so had to use golden brown sugar which is why the blondies aren't as dark as they should be.