Precocious Rhubarb Pink and Whities

went away for a day on a food writing course run at Otter Farm by Diana Henry. So I asked Jessi and Issy to cook lunch for the four remaining adults.

When I got back I asked if lunch was a success, and there were resounding votes of confidence. The main course was an exotic Israeli dish – Night Kitchen Inspired dish of cauliflower, tahini and boiled egg.

And the thing-to-eat-with-coffee also got a resounding thumbs up. I asked what they’d had and the Chief Taster said “whities”. I raised an eyebrow. “Yes, whities”, he confirmed with confidence, “that’s to say, not ‘brownies’. It was excellent”.

And to think that the Chief Taster hates white chocolate!

As a final test I tried making them again, and took them into my workplace. A particularly appreciative colleague emailed me encouragingly:

“Could you please send me the recipe for the rhubarb blondies you’ve brought in? They are fab! Thanks for treating us on a Friday afternoon.”

SO – a recipe to feel really confident about!



Recipe for Precocious pink and whities

Makes about 20


  • 400g/14 oz rhubarb
  • 150g/¾ cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps good quality Madagascan vanilla bean paste
  • Juice and zest of a lime
  • 1”/2 cm ginger
  • 150g/5 oz/three-fifths of a brick of butter, plus a bit more for greasing
  • 210g/1⅔ cups plain flour
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 350g/1¾ cups soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g/7 oz white chocolate
  • 100g/4 oz toasted, flaked almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  2. Line a baking tin with silicon paper.
  3. Cut the rhubarb into 2”/5 cm lengths. Spread over the baking tin, and sprinkle over the caster sugar.
  4. Put small blobs of the vanilla paste dotted around over it.
  5. Grate over the lime zest, and squeeze over the juice.
  6. Grate over the ginger.
  7. Roast for 15 minutes (the rhubarb should be just cooked through). Take out and leave to cool.
  8. Meanwhile roughly chop the white chocolate.
  9. When the rhubarb is cool, drain off the syrup – use as a sort of coulis for something else.
  10. Grease and line the baking tin with baking or silicon paper. Grease the baking paper if that’s what you are using.
  11. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the soft brown sugar and the butter. Add the egg. Sieve in the flour and salt. Whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
  12. Then stir in the chocolate and half the almonds.
  13. Spread three-quarters of the batter over the bottom of the baking tin.
  14. Spread the rhubarb over that.
  15. Dot over the remaining batter.
  16. Bake for about 20 minutes – the batter should be cooked, but still gooey.
  17. Take out, leave to cool, and then cut into chunks.


It doesn’t take long. Listen to Blondie singing The Tide Is High as you mix and stir.





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