I’m sorry if this post confuses you, my lovely readers, as it is one that I usually manage to get up on a Friday or Saturday. Last week we took advantage of school holidays and took ourselves off to Melbourne for most of the week, arriving home last night. I took my laptop and the necessary technology to make sure I could post Seasonal Secrets as intended, but you know what they say about the road to hell and good intentions.
In a previous existence I lived in a share house in Melbourne and enjoy getting back there to catch up with good friends – generally over copious amounts of food and wine, check out whatever the NGV currently has on offer and do a spot of shopping – especially at some of the specialist food warehouses. We didn’t manage to eat anywhere heart-stoppingly good in Melbourne on this trip (quite the opposite one night, in fact), but took a detour on the way home and enjoyed the fantastic local produce and Alla Wolf-Tasker’s remarkable cuisine in Daylesford at The Lake House. Daylesford is just under two hours drive from Melbourne and a very pretty town, popular since Victorian times as a spa destination because of it’s natural effervescent mineral water and even more notable now because of Alla’s culinary skills – well worth a side trip on your way in or out of Melbourne.
While it’s very nice to eat out, the combination of five nights of restaurant meals plus a day either side of that at the mercy of roadhouses, meant that I was keen to get back into my own kitchen. Our citrus trees have not been idle in my absence so it seemed like a pretty good idea to start trying to use up some of their fruit as soon as possible. Accordingly, dinner last night was a roasted free-range chicken with a sprig of thyme and a halved lemon indecorously shoved up it’s clacker and this morning I rummaged around for some orange recipes.
Flicking through the pages of “Fat Witch Brownies” I happily fell upon a recipe for Orange Walnut Blondies. I still have a small stash of the delicious locally grown and organic Enoomah Walnuts hidden away so wasted no time in putting this piece of wickedness together. After all, one has to have something to snack on, on the road to hell. Unusually for me I followed this recipe verbatim, resisting the urge to tweak, and it turned out perfectly. Moist, chewy and – while they have just the right amount of oranginess – I intend crystalising some orange rind in the next week or so and think it might be a very tasty way to beef up the orange flavour even more. The only real issue I had with the recipe was the utterly crazy suggestion that adding choc chips was optional. Really – in what universe is adding chocolate ever optional?
Orange Walnut Blondies
- 120 gms butter
- 1¾ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- juice of one orange
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¾ cups plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- zest of one orange
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- ½ cup choc chips
- Grease 9″x9″ pan.
- Preheat oven to 160C
- Melt butter and sugar in small pan over low heat, stirring often. Cool to room temperature.
- Transfer butter/sugar mixture to medium mixing bowl, add eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly.
- Add orange juice and vanilla, blend.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt directly into batter and blend until well combined.
- Stir in zest, walnuts and choc chips.
- Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool in pan, slice into squares to serve.
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