And so the lockdown baking continues. What week of lockdown are we in now? The days and weeks have definitely blurred into one. Work provides some kind of routine and I decided a little Friday treat was needed for myself and my colleagues. Mr Birdie had bought some rhubarb and I had been wanting to try making these BBC Good Food rhubarb and custard blondies for a while so I decided to give them a go. I was definitely not disappointed!

These were a big hit with both my colleagues and Mr Birdie and my daughters. The recipe makes 12 generously sized blondies – you could easily cut them into 16 instead. You’ll need a 20 x 30cm baking tin. If you don’t have any rhubarb you can use any other jam or compote you might have instead. I’m thinking apple and pear with some crumble topping would make the perfect autumn bake. The baked blondies will keep for three days in an airtight container (if they last that long) or alternatively you can freeze the squares individually.

For the blondies
225g salted butter (or unsalted butter with a pinch of salt)
200g light brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
150g plain flour
50g custard powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium eggs
250g white chocolate chips or white chocolate finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the rhubarb & custard swirl
200g rhubarb (fresh, frozen or canned and drained will all work)
75g caster sugar
Pink or red food colouring (optional)
4 tablespoons custard (ready made or made up from powder)

1) To make the rhubarb and custard swirl put the rhubarb and sugar in a wide pan with 2 tablespoons of water (you can omit the water if using canned rhubarb). Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb breaks down and turns jammy (I found I needed to add some more water to stop it from drying out too much). Add a few drops of food colouring if you want a pink rhubarb swirl. Leave to cool.

2) Heat you oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the butter and both sugars into a pan and put over a low heat. Melt together until smooth and shiny, then remove from the heat, and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

3) Sieve the flour, custard powder and baking powder into a bowl. Butter a 20 x 30cm baking tin and line with baking parchment.
4) Beat the eggs into the cooled sugar and butter mixture, then fold in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Stir in 150g of the chocolate chips and the vanilla.

5) Pour into the brownie tin, then use a teaspoon to swirl the rhubarb compote on top of the batter. Add dollops of the custard, then swirl a skewer or cocktail stick through the compote to create a marbled pattern.

6) Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and the edges are coming away from the sides of the tin, then leave in the tin to cool.
7) Melt the remaining 100g of white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the blondie in a zig-zag pattern. Cut into squares to serve.

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