Last time we did un-brown brownies.
They were pretty excellent, were they not? (They were.)
And I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if I used the same recipe but went with milk chocolate rather than white. Aaand of course, me being a bit of a trouble maker when it comes to the kitchen, my mind went even further into the realms of Pimp My Brownie and I started wondering what else I could add to give an ordinary tray of chocolate cake bars a bit of a kick in the proverbial.
I decided to see what sort of damage I could do to a batch of brownies with a few packets of Lavender Earl Grey tea.
I’ve added Earl Grey to cupcakes (with violet frosting, ithankyou – a great success) and thought that with its earthy tea leaves and zing of citrus it, plus the ingenious inclusion of some lavender flowers would go very well indeed with chocolate.
So I crushed up three tea bags’ worth of the stuff, and it smelled divine, just look at all the bits of leaf, rind, and flower:
Now here comes the alchemy bit.
I wanted to boost the flavours a bit more, and even though the chocolate-to-flour ratio is pretty serious in this recipe, I decided to add a bit of cocoa powder to the mix for a deeper taste, and nothing brings out the richness of chocolate like a hit of coffee…
With their powers combined, these little spoonfuls of flavour made my batch of brownies go all but literally BOOM.
Yes, coffee is an excellent sparring partner for citrus and lavender.
And chocolate just brings it all together.
And I bring all of them together.
With dark chocolate chips.
And love. Always with love.
Lavender Earl Grey Brownies
Adapted from these guys…
- 6 tbsps Unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225g Milk chocolate
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Caster sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Self raising flour
- 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp Instant coffee granules
- 1.5 tbsp Lavender Earl Grey tea, finely ground (you’ll need a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder)
- 1/2 cup Dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 175C. (Fan assisted 160C.)
Grease and flour an 8 inch square (or equivalent rectangle) baking pan, or line it with baking paper. I seriously recommend baking paper for these.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bain marie or double boiler. I suggest letting the chocolate start to melt a bit before adding the butter: the butter will melt more quickly, so adding it when the chocolate is starting to go gooey helps them to blend more smoothly.
Stir the mixture frequently to prevent separation, adding the second half of the chocolate as soon as the first half is combined with the butter. Give a few good stirs still on the heat, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool off a little.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until they are pale and thick.
Add the chocolate and butter mixture, then the vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder, coffee granules, and tea. Beat until just until smooth.
Add the chocolate chips and mix in by hand until they are evenly incorporated. You may wish to toss the choc chips in some flour to discourage them from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking. Reserve a small handful of chips to sprinkle over the top of the poured batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with the remaining chocolate chips, and bake for 35 minutes (fan assisted oven for more like 40mins) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, cut the brownies into squares or bars.
Just as a little preview of what lurked beneath that flaky, chocolate studded exterior, here are some fudgy brownie glamour shots:
And remember, while we’re chucking tea bags into chocolate cakes, we’re okay with going a bit freeform round here: just have a look at my random brownie cutting technique…
Yeah… Three, three, three, four.
It’s what all the cool kids (who are secretly adults who bake brownies) are doing.
These brownies are deeply, hopelessly chocolatey, with citrus notes coasting along the top and delicate floral notes drifting underneath. They will wake up bits of your tongue and tickle bits of your mind, they really will – you can taste them all over.
And if you’re anywhere near London you may taste them all over because they’ve got all over you because they melted because it’s hot because it’s not fair because I hate humidity as does my hair, my cactus collection, and my cat. My cat keeps trying to crawl into the fridge. Smart lad.
Bah, don’t let the weather put you off the brownies: Just think of the melty-all-over-ness as the two of you getting to know each other a better. With licking.
I’m going to crawl into the fridge for a bit myself, I think.
I’ll be back in a tick with a bit of reportage re: the next round of Foodie Pen Pals. (Whee!)