Vegetarian Picnic for a local Business Summer Party plus a recipe for Rhubarb + Cashew Blondies

One of my favourite jobs to date has been preparing picnic food for a Brilliant Noise staff summer party. Held in Preston Park in Brighton. The brief was very open- a selection of vegetarian and vegan snacks to feed 50 but it had to include THOSE rhubarb & cashew blondies!

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I fired over a long list of suggestions which were quickly approved. We then slightly narrowed down the selection and a menu was born.

feta, chive, soured cream, scones, cheese, biscuits, flaky

The team feasted on

  • Cambodian Wedding Dip
  • Green Goddess Dip
  • Hummus
  • Baba Ganoush
  • With flatbreads, breadsticks & crudités for dipping
  • Stuffed Focaccia w/ Braised Courgette, Chilli & Lemon (vg)
  • Sour Cream, Chive & Feta Scones
  • Tomato & Thyme Galettes
  • Potato Salad w/ Capers, Red Onions, Mint, Dill & Mustard Dressing
  • Roasted Miso Aubergine w/ Spring Onion, Coriander & Bulgar Wheat Salad
  • Rhubarb & Cashew Blondies
  • Cherry Bakewell Slice (vg)
  • Watermelon w/ Lime, Chilli & Salt (vg)
picnic, brighton, delivery, lunch, snacks, catering

Rhubarb & Cashew Blondies Recipe

Ever since I took some treats to the Brilliant Noise team a few month earlier these blondies seem to have been the talk of the office. It’s best to use the thin, vibrantly coloured rhubarb that appears early in season but I appreciate we are now in July, and a full 6 months out of season for Yorkshire forced rhubarb. However, if you do happen to spot some at the market you really should put it to good use in these.

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, melted
  • 400g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 300g rhubarb, chopped into 2inch pieces
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 100g, roughly chopped cashews

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tin (approx 30x20cm) with baking parchment.

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Once smooth, beat in the eggs one by one followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour and salt and gently fold in till no streaks of flour remain. Now add the white chocolate and half of the cashews.

Spoon half of the mixture into your prepared tin and gently smooth down. Lay the pieces of rhubarb on top followed by the orange zest. Top with the remaining blondie mixture & chopped cashews.

Bake for 30-45 minutes. Test after 30 minutes with a skewer. You want there to be a few moist crumbs but not really gooey. This will depend on how much moisture your rhubarb contains so you may need to cook for a little longer. Bear in mind as the mixture cools it will firm up so be careful not to overcook. Leave to cool before slicing and then dig in!

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