3: Random blondie
Now this is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier. I'm in ancient Canterbury, I'm looking to get the weight off my feet, it's bitterly cold, and the city centre quad is doing it's utmost to transform itself into an awful Christmas market, despite the understandable gentle reticence of the thronging baffled punters.
So I duck into Garage coffee, un petit bijoux small scale fussed-up coffee shack I've fequented before. I order an oat-milk cappucino (pseudo-vegan, remember), and right there by the till in the cake-hole, I spy me something labelled as a 'mince pie blondie'. Bingo! Ordered, obviously. I pay, wedge myself in on a spare chair on a giant table with two women already camping on one corner. They don't seem too into it, to be honest. I don't super blame them, their Saturday afternoon coffee natter has been invaded by an old, blondie-eating weirdo, but needs must, there are blogs that need writing, I tuck in, studiously focus on my phone and await the arrival of my comestible goods.
What even is a blondie? I think it's brownie, for people either afraid of or allergic to chocolate, perhaps. It's maybe a bit too happy about it's whiteness I think, but let's not dig too far into that. It's the exceedingly extra payload I'm interested in. When it arrives, and it's quite a big unit, I'm immediately excited to notice that some unhinged kitchen wizard has seemingly taken a mundane coffee house snack-piece and enthusiastically mashed one, or more, pre-fabbed mince pies into it at a late stage, pie crust and all. It seems very ill-advised, but I commend them for entering whole-heartedly into the spirit of my stupid enterprise. This seems kind of perfect.
Hey, it's pretty good. The cake is kind of hyper-dense, and a little bit cloying, and enormously sweet. Maybe some vanilla? Hard to tell really, because the taste profile is immediately overwhelmed by whacking great chunks of mince pie. And the whole gang is there, fruit, winter spice, lumps of shortcrust pastry, that part really quite unusual for a cake bar. It's very sweet, probably too sweet, especially given the portion size, but I'm offsetting it with a very large, very dark coffee, and the whole combination just plain works. Hark, the herald angels sing! Glory to the pie-cake king! (I've had a lot of sugar and coffee)