Hi everyone, after a few weeks without eggs, we finally scored some. To celebrate? I baked brownies – the best brownies I know how to make. They’re fudgy, deep-dish, and decadent with a high fat (butter & chocolate) to flour ratio. We ate some, froze some, and left some for neighbors. In addition to lots of bittersweet chocolate in the batter, I dial up the intensity with 1/4 cup of espresso powder and an infusion of fragrant, freshly ground cardamom seeds blooming in vanilla extract. It’s a flavor profile I love every time I encounter it. They’re Turkish coffee chocolate brownies, and I’d happily use my last eggs and chocolate to make them.
– Chocolate: I love Amy Guittard and her family’s San Francisco-based chocolate. For these brownies I use a bag of Guittard Organic Bittersweet 74%. That said, any good bittersweet chocolate over 70% is great. If you can only get semi-sweet right now in the 60-70% zone – they’ll still be delicious, but look for bittersweet as your first choice.
– Grinding spices: If you have a coffee grinder at home, you can grind the cardamom seeds along with your beans when grinding the espresso powder. That said, it’s probably easier to use a mortar and pestle to quickly grind the cardamom – your coffee grinder will retain the cardamom scent for a while if you don’t clean it which takes some effort. To clean a coffee grinder you can grind a handful of white rice to clear it of other ingredients and scent.
– Invest in good cardamom: Many of you are familiar with Diaspora Co. turmeric, but don’t sleep on the cardamom. I use it here and it is incredibly fragrant and special. Other things you can do if you have a jar – steep pods in tea, grind a couple seeds with your coffee beans in the morning, toss a few pods into stews, etc. Freshly ground spices can make a huge difference in your baking.
A dark, robust roast is welcome here. Anything labelled espresso. You’ll want the coffee beans ground espresso-fine.
Brownie Pan Size
You have some flexibility here. I call for baking in a 8×8-inch pan. If you only have an 9×9-inch brownie pan, I’ve baked these in that size as well, they’ll be a bit thinner, and you won’t need to bake as long. A 9×13-inch pan will result in a thinner brownie, you’ll need to bake for even less time.
One variation I want to mention. I love using almond extract here in place of the vanilla extract called for. I’m out right now, but if you have some, consider using it!
Other baking ideas: Maybe you’re not in the mood for brownies, but cookie recipes sound good right now? I love these snickerdoodles, these shortbread cookies, and this Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. On the cake front, a lot of people are baking this One Bowl Banana Bread right now. Kim Boyce’s Rosemary Olive Oil Cake is wonderful, or if you’re up for a bit of a project, make the Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake.