It was rainy and cold and after nap time I was reading Little Bit a classic from my childhood, Happy Winter by Karen Gundersheimer. In it is a recipe for a fudge cake that the little girls in the story make with their Mama. My first idea was to make that cake with little Bit and then go stomp in puddles while it baked, coming in to hot cake. It needed to bake too long for our available time slot though, so I considered brownies instead, and it occurred to me that we had pear and ginger on hand to put in them. I like pear brownies, but the pear flavour doesn't shine as much as I'd like, so I decided on blondies instead. These were beauteous and gooey and gingery. They are definitely going to be sticking around (and very sticky they were too!)
1/2 c butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
1 c flour
1 pear, diced
1 finger of ginger, diced
1/4 - 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c whey/milk
1) Place the diced ginger in a saucepan with enough water to drown them by a couple of centimetres and add sugar. simmer gently, reducing the liquid. As it reduces, add a splash or two of milk or whey, allowing it to caramelise with the sugar. Stir regularly!
2) In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter together. Beat in egg and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.
3) Stir in the pear and walnuts. Add enough milk or whey to make the batter thick but pourable. Stir in the ginger with its caramel syrup.
4) Bake in a prepared baking tin at 175°C for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
These were beautiful! They were sticky with a layer of gooey caramel on the bottom. The ginger and pear came through very nicely. I might reduce the sugar a bit next time, using some of the sugar that would go in the batter to candy the ginger, and I would use a few more nuts, but otherwise, am I delighted with these! The timing of the baking was perfect too! We came in wet and muddy from stomping in puddles, and the blondies were ready for us to eat by the fire once we were dried off. Maybe a little richer than I needed, but tasty and moreish... and healthy because of the pear, ginger and nuts, right?