Thursday was a public holiday here in Hong Kong.
Now as i’m sure you all know, in England bank holidays are always tacked helpfully onto a weekend. Whatever the occasion the closest Monday becomes a day off. Hello three day weekend. Alas, Hong Kong hasn’t quite figured this one out yet. Unless it’s a Sunday, bank holidays always fall on the exact day of the celebration. We’re left with such strange occurrences as a bank holiday Saturday (a horrendous injustice) or a bank holiday Wednesday. Not that i’m complaining completely here of course, it’s lovely having a random day off in the middle of the week. Nights out when you couldn’t have them, lie ins on odd days. Chopping the week in half is sometimes a perfect situation. However it also makes these days a little useless. No long weekend away for us.
What these days are perfect for, however, is catching up on all those things you don’t otherwise get time to do. For me that means heading into the kitchen to experiment.
These blondies were the product of a box of Ferrero Rocher i’ve been restraining myself from since Christmas, an a half full jar of Nutella.
The result are deliciously chewy nutty blondies, swirled through with sticky Nutella and chunks of hazelnut.The Nutella stays beautifully soft and sticky in the middle, adding a perfect contrast to the crispy top, and chewy centre of the blondies.
In every bite you get little pieces of Ferrero Rocher, but ever bite is different. Some more chocoatey, some with more nuts, some, and these are the best in my opinion, mostly made up of pools of Nutella.
You start by taking a big handful of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and you chop them up into a chocolatey, nutty rubble. You reveal all the delicious components of the these little fancy treats. The chocolate outer shell shattered into shards, smooth chocolate filling, little bites of hazelnut from the outside coating, and big chunks from the centre nut.
The rubble gets stirred into the blondie batter, made with lots of melted butter and brown sugar. We add more ground hazelnuts. These add extra chewiness, and extra nuttiness.
Once the batter is poured into the tray, the finishing touch comes into play. Nutella. Is there anything that Nutella can’t improve? We blob generous spoonfuls across the top of the batter, then swirl it through. The Nutella on the top of the blondies crisps up in the oven, the swirls through the centre stay deliciously soft and gooey.
Nutty, chocolatey, gooey, chewy and delicious. I’m very happy with the results of this experiment!
Ferrero Rocher Nutella Swirl Blondies
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
(Makes 12 Blondies)
218g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g all purpose flour
75g ground hazelnuts
6 Fererro Rocher chocolates
4 tablespoons nutella
Preheat the oven to 130C/350F.
Grease and line a 6X9 inch or 8X8 inch tin.
Roughly chop your Ferrero Rocher chocolates and set aside.
Melt your butter over a low heat.
While it melts, measure your butter into a large bowl.
Stir the melted butter into the sugar and mix until well combined.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
Add the egg mix to the sugar mix, and beat until well combined. Add the flour and ground hazelnuts and mix to a thick batter.
Gently stir through the Ferrero Rocher pieces.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread to the edges.
Add generous spoons of the nutella across the top of the blondie mix. Use a knife of the handle of a spoon to swirl the nutella through the blondie mixture.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until set but still a little gooey in the middle. Keep an eye on it while it bakes, you may need to cover with foil if the nutella begins to brown.
Cool completely, then slice into 12 blondies.