It was a perfect summer afternoon in Canberra, with clear blue skies and a light breeze. About 30 ladies sat in the garden of the New Zealand High Commission chatting and enjoying a delicious afternoon tea. We had gathered to say goodbye to a couple of very good Kiwi friends.
A beautiful young kookaburra sat on a low branch of a nearby tree, calmly watching proceedings. I’m not an expert on native birds, but apparently our feathered friend was female, so she probably thought she was invited. We later discovered that she was waiting for our hostess to feed her some minced beef, which she did just before the last guests departed.
Afternoon tea used to be a standard affair. Now it’s a real treat. The party began at 2pm so I decided to skip lunch and was glad I had done so. When everything looks so delicious it’s tempting to try everything. I didn’t, quite, but I did try quite a few things. My favourite cakes were the White Chocolate and Macadamia Blondies which had come from the Kiwi Kitchen in Fyshwick.
I decided to try and replicate them and spent half an hour reading through various Brownie and Blondie recipes on Google. A Blondie by the way is a Brownie, without the ingredients which make it dark. I was pretty sure one of the ingredients was condensed milk, but couldn’t find any recipes for Blondies using that ingredient. I did, however, find one for Brownies which used it. So here is the result of combining three recipes. Not quite the same as the original version, but close. A delicious cake which will appeal to the sweet tooth brigade. Serve as a cake or warm as a dessert, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
150g unsalted butter
1 can condensed milk
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup white chocolate chips/melts
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 9″ (22cm) square cake tin with baking paper. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and melt in the microwave. Add remaining ingredients one by one, in the order they are listed. A good way to crush the nuts without making them too fine is to press each one with the back of a large knife, the way you crush garlic. When thoroughly mixed, scrape mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 mins. The top should be golden brown, but the middle of the cake should still be quite soft when you take it out. It will firm up when cold.
Cool then cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.
Makes 20-25 squares
Note: anyone with an allergy to nuts could use oats instead of macadamias.