Brownies seem to be endlessly adaptable. I’ve made them with ginger, with nuts, with more and more and more chocolate. I think I must try them with mint. And possibly orange, although I’m never quite sure about chocolate and orange, and thoroughly disapprove of orange anywhere near milk chocolate.
But this weekend it’s all about the sophisticated flavour combo of cardamom and chocolate. I have to credit both The Times and West London’s favourite provider of baked goods: Cocomaya. So, thank you. And I hope you don’t mind me re-producing your recipe here.
I’m looking after my nephews this weekend, so am cooking in a less familiar kitchen, although having a Rayburn to bake in is a delight and reminds me of happy happy childhood weekends, baking scrumptious goodies for the family.
Cardamom chocolate brownies
250g unsalted butter (I used slightly salted as that was what was in the fridge)
15 green cardamom pods
100g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
350g dark chocolate (at each 70% cocoa solids)
250g muscovado sugar
50g caster sugar (I used a combination of soft dark brown and soft light brown sugar)
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
15 x 20cm cake tin… I couldn’t find the right size, so ended up using a le creuset oval lasagne style dish, approximately the right size
Oven 130C, GM2. The Rayburn was on medium, which is probably slightly higher than recommended
- Grease the baking tin
- Slightly bash the cardamom pods and extract the black seeds, throw away the green dry husks
- Put the butter and the cardamom seeds into a small pan and melt. Set aside for a few hours. If you have an Aga or a Rayburn then leave it on the side where it can remain liquid.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl
- Place the chocolate in a bowl and strain the butter onto it. Place over a pan of simmering water to melt
- In a large bowl mix the sugars together and squish out any lumps. Add the eggs and mix. Don’t beat, you don’t need to add air to this mixture (although I was reading a Hugh Fearnley Whatsisname recipe last night which says you beat for 4-5 minutes at this stage to incorporate lots of air. I didn’t and it worked out REALLY well).
- Add the chocolate-butter mixture and stir through
- Fold in the flour, followed by the salt
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin – spread into the corners if you need to.
- Bake for about 45 minutes. The recipe states only 20 minutes, and in the end I baked it for just over an hour and it still has the lovely squidgy gooey-ness.
- Leave to cool and then cut into pieces. I note that Cocomaya decorate theirs with gold leaf. Feel free to do the same if you have any spare gold leaf hanging about in your cupboards.