My hands are covered in tiny cuts from digging out peach pits and my shoulders are burnt from lingering too long under the sun. That autumnal change I so long for is still eluding us. These swelling afternoons of January make me recall something about the smell of ripe stone fruit and petrichor - the earthy scent of rain on hot pavement.
I spend a lot of time in my head in summer, it is cooler in there. Recollections and thoughts float by all day in a constant steady stream. Some are intangible like clouds that you just can't hold onto, others are wispy and frail like feathers. Some smack you right in the gut without a moments notice and leave you gasping for air holding onto the bench top for support.
Those are the thoughts I try to avoid - disagreeable memories, worries, nasty faces and whispers, all that negative psychological detritus. I try and let it float right on past me and I am getting better at it. A thousand times a day these spindly little uglies drift past and instead of latching on and breathing life into them I just let them flow on until all I am left with is peaches and petrichor. Some might call detachment. But for me it is peace.
Our peach tree has finished for the year. Next week will be the plum harvest and it all starts again. Picking, sorting, cutting, peeling, boiling, baking. Like some sort of demented mantra. This is how I spend my summer days at the moment. I will be off to Hobart this week which should offer some reprieve from the sweltering heat and the mind numbing repetitiveness. I couldn't be more excited.
Before I leave though I had a small collection of peaches left, the last precious few and I was at a loss at what to do with them. I had baked them into cakes, pies and made so much jam and peach curd, more than we will eat in a year (recipes coming soon I promise!!). I wanted something small but decadent. So blondies it is! The base recipe is one from a favourite blog, Hummingbird High. They are fudgy and delicious, made even better by the addition of browned butter to the batter which gives them a greater depth of flavour and nutty undertones. They are filled with chunks of white chocolate and sweet fruity peach bursts.
I love a good blondie. Almost as much as I enjoy making them. The base recipe is one from a favourite blog, Hummingbird High. They are fudgy and delicious, made even better by the addition of browned butter to the batter which gives them a greater depth of flavour and nutty undertones. They are filled with chunks of white chocolate and sweet fruity peach bursts.
Brown Butter & Peach Blondies With Caramelised White Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from Hummingbird High
For the Blondies:
- 120 grams/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- /2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 1 large free range egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 8 firm ripe peaches, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
For the Caramelised White Chocolate Glaze:
- 250g White chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 Cup single cream
- 2 Tbsp softened cream cheese
For the glaze:
- Preheat the oven to 120 (C)/ 250 (F).
- In a deep sided baking dish, place the chopped white chocolate. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and using a spatula spread into an even layer. Place back into the oven for another 10 minutes, remove and stir. Repeat for the next 30 minutes (take out and stir roughly 4 times) until golden brown (don't worry if it looks a little dusty or chalky - it will all come together with the cream). Preheat oven to 180 (C)/375 (F).
- Transfer the chocolate into a big bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan over high heat. Take off when it starts to simmer, (do not boil). Whisk the hot cream into the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Beat the cream cheese in. Set aside.
For the Brown Butter Blondies:
- Grease and line with baking paper a 20 cm/ 8-inch square cake pan.
- In a medium, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, melt the butter. The butter should be taken off the heat when it starts turning a brown colour and emitting a nutty aroma. Cool slightly.
- Beat together the butter and both sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
- Sift flour, cinnamon and salt into the butter mixture, Fold in gently until just combined. Fold in gently 1 cup white chocolate chips and peach slices.
- Pour the blondie batter into the prepared baking pan. Make sure the top is smooth and even. Scatter the remaining white chocolate pieces over the top.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Cover the tin with foil if the white chocolate is browning too quickly. The edges should be a lovely golden brown. Don't worry too much if the middle is still a little wet - they will set more as they cool. Drizzle the caramelised white chocolate glaze over the blondies while they cool. Once cooled completely cut into squares and enjoy!