Most folks claim baking to be an exact science.
I am not one of them.
For me, baking (much like the rest of my
cooking life) is more of an ‘off the cuff’ type of affair and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Once I understand the basic ratios of a recipe I leave the prim and proper baking princess persona well and truly behind and get on with the fun of baking. i.e. adding/subtracting/making it up as I go along.
Mostly with fantastic results.
Yes. I admit it, there have been disasters.
But hey what’s the worst that happen?
A souffle doesn’t rise?
It’s a clafoutis.
A brownie burns?
Cut off the edges, crumble and add to ice-cream.
A cake sinks?
Cover it with icing.
On the up side there have been many triumphs and remarkable reincarnations of classic tried and true recipes and today’s raspberry and macadamia crumb bars is one of them.
These little babies are my blueberry crumb bars reinvented.
By replacing the blueberries with raspberries, adding a little raspberry jam and a handful or two of macadamia nuts the original recipe is taken to new heights of deliciousness.
And I have to pat myself on the back for this one, the addition of jam is genius! As the bars bake the jam bubbles away and caramelises creating burnished bits of sticky, gooey sweet raspberry goodness. And the macadamias mixed through the doughy layer roast to golden perfection and add a buttery crunch to the topping.
I took it all for you.
To create your own batch of raspberry & macadamia crumb bars simply…
Begin by placing the sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together.
Take half of the mixture and using slightly damp hands press into a tin lined with baking paper.
Add the macadamias to the remaining mixture and pulse again until the macadamias are combined.
Spread the raspberry jam over the base to create a thick layer of jam that will caramelise and bubble away gorgeously in the oven.
Top the jam layer with the raspberries.
And finally place the remaining macadamia dough over the raspberry/jam layer leaving little gaps here and there so that the jam and raspberries will bubble up in the oven and create a wonderful fruity rippled effect.
Pop the slice into a preheated 180 degrees celsius (350F) oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the tin before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve alongside a yoghurt fruit cup or sliced fruit.
raspberry & macadamia crumb bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
250 gm cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
¼ cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or essence)
1 cup macadamias
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 cups frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 180°c (350F) and line a 32.5 x 23 cm pan with baking paper.
In the bowl of a food processor place sugar, baking powder, flour, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and pulse until combined. The dough will be moist yet crumbly. Place half the dough into prepared tin and flatten using fingertips. Add the macadamias to the remaining biscuit mixture and pulse until combined. Spread the jam over the base evenly and top with raspberries. Crumble remaining macadamia dough over the berry layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
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