I haven’t added much content here in quite a while. You would think, that with all of the extra time I have stuck at home, that this would not be the case. I guess I’ve been distracted by all of my own small elements of crazy. I’ve also been super confused about what kind of content I want to create and where and what kind of things I should be making and why. How to streamline it… Ugh. It’s all just led to a lot of nothing. Which is more useless than making SOMETHING and figuring it out later. So here’s that.
I’ve been making this recipe frequently during the stay in place. It’s been a brownie recipe that I’ve tweaked a bit over time. And it’s one of my favorites. Partly because it’s super easy to put together, and partly because it’s just the kind of rich textural goodness that’s comforting and addictive.
It starts with a very simple Cocoa Brownie Recipe that my friend Christina and I found years ago. We’d been cooking dinner with friends all evening, (probably watching a Firefly marathon) and realized we wanted dessert! That wouldn’t take all night like the disaster of a cheesecake from the week before. Whoops. A handful of years ago, I remembered how quick and satisfying this recipe was and set out to make it mine. Here’s where I am at with it today:
Dark Chocolate Cardamom Brownies
283g Unsalted Butter
180g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4ea Cold Large Eggs
120g All Purpose Flour
1 ⅓ cup inclusions (Dark Chocolate Chips/chunks and or Almonds)
1/2 tsp Cardamom
AN Maldon Salt
AN Cocoa Nibs
AN Aleppo Pepper (optional)
Pre grease a 9”x13”/ 33 x 23 x 5 cm baking pan and set oven to 350 F/ 175 C.
In a large heatproof bowl, begin to melt butter over a double boiler. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and cardamom and continue to stir until melted and fully incorporated. Mixture will be at least warm or hot to the touch. Remove from heat. If hot, wait a few minutes. Then emulsify in cold eggs one by one. Add vanilla extract. Fold in flour and inclusions.
Pour mixture into baking pan, lightly even out top. Sprinkle Maldon Salt, Cocoa Nibs, and Aleppo if desired, evenly over the top of the brownie. Bake for 25 minutes initially and check. Top should lose some of it’s glossy color, crack and rise slightly.
Notes: Cardamom is a strong flavor. In this brownie, it can be used as a very subtle lift or it can be increased so that the cardamom is more central. It’s great both ways. The ½ tsp is based on using freshly ground cardamom seeds for a distinct flavor. If using pre-ground cardamom, I would suggest a full teaspoon. Can also sub aleppo pepper in place of the cardamom for a different take. In this case, add 1 tsp Aleppo to melting butter and also finish the brownies with an additional sprinkling of the pepper.
This is a pretty dense, fudgy brownie. Softness and moisture will also depend on how long it is baked. I tend to bake it a touch on the underdone side for something really gooey and decadent.