The actions of leisurely baking are always comforting and, coupled with the winter weather, there are so many levels of warmth that mixing, stirring and standing in front of an oven can bring. However with the travel from Munich back to Sydney wearing me out (my inability to sleep on flights strikes again) combined with two weeks’ worth of long work hours, the motivation to spend hours in the kitchen are pretty low – and that’s despite the promise of comforting baking aromas and warming sweets afterwards.
Cue: easy one-bowl mix-and-bake! Brownies are always great as they don’t require much forward planning or concentration – there’s no need to soften butter at room temperature, or cream sugar with butter or eggs. It’s so easy you could almost make them while half asleep. Or recovering from jetlag.
But instead of making my usual chocolate brownies, I decided to make use of some of the matcha powder stashed in my pantry. When friends travelling to Japan ask if there’s anything they can bring back for me, I always request matcha powder. It’s so expensive here, although not a great deal cheaper there I’m told, and so little choice in the way of brands and packet sizes. I’ve long been a tea-drinker and I love the smell of tea and tea leaves almost more than savouring the beverage itself. Matcha has a great aroma and the slight bitterness it imparts to desserts makes them less rich and cloying.
Matcha always pairs well with white chocolate, where one tempers the flavour of the other, so hence the combination of the two to make these matcha blondies. The colour is a bit vomitus green unfortunately, as happens with anything matcha, but Angie suggested a great tip for this – drop in some green food colouring until you’re happy with the shade. I mixed white chocolate chips and chopped macadamias in for texture, as I like some crunch to break up the fudginess, but, as always with brownies, these are optional and you can always underbake the batter if you prefer gooier centres as well. (I don't as I have issues with raw batter heheh.)
I’ve never made blondies (aka white chocolate brownies) before as I’m not a fan of sugary, white chocolate – I prefer my chocolate dark, bitter and shiny – but it’s not an obvious white chocolate flavour that you get with these. Matcha blondies is the obvious choice of name but call them “greenies”, if you will. Make them in mini-loaf pans, slice into fingers and each piece will feature some crust, or bake in a shallow tin as per usual.
(loosely adapted from Triple Chocolate Brownies from delicious. Magazine April 2007, recipe by Bill Granger)
- 200g white chocolate, chopped
- 125g butter, chopped
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup plain flour
- ¼ cup (unsweetened) matcha powder
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped macadamias (optional)
- Preheat oven 160°C. Grease and line a shallow slice tin or 8 mini-loaf tins.
- Melt white chocolate with butter in a bowl which fits snugly over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir mixture until chocolate is melted and goopy. (I found that melted white chocolate doesn’t combine with butter the same way dark chocolate does. Instead of being a glossy mixture, the white chocolate sank to the bottom of the butter but never fear – the mixture comes together when the dry ingredients are mixed in!) Set aside to cool slightly.
- Beat sugar into chocolate mixture then whisk in eggs one at a time – it may look a little curdled. Add flour and matcha powder then beat until smooth. Stir in white chocolate and macadamia bits.
- Pour mixture into prepared tin(s) and bake around 40 minutes if in the one tray, or around 30 minutes if in mini-loaves. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from tin to cut into whatever shape that takes your fancy.