As a part of my ongoing attempts to use up everything in the house I really have been wanting to make some headway into the gluten free flour. The two bars of organic dark chocolate could only mean a brownie mission was on the cards. But plain ones? I think not. I only had sour cherries & pistachios which I knew could work, but I really wanted to ratchet it up a notch or two more. Since I've been experimenting with some unusal chocolate (sweet curry, wasabi, chilli and the like) recently from US producer Vosges I knew that bolder experimentation might well work out. All the chilli brownie recipes I could find really need plain chilli powder (e.g. no cumin or the like) which was not an option! But Paul A Young, our local chocolatier, does an amazing cardamon brownie and on the cupboard cleaning front I need to make some headway into the serious stash of cardamon I've been hoarding for years. So here we found ourselves making these cardamon, pistachio and sour cherry brownies. The technique of adding the cardamon to the melted chocolate could, I think, be mirrored for any flavouring if you felt so inspired or used with your own brownie recipe. I loosely used the Nigella Lawson ratios of chocolate to butter but cut down a bit on the flour as gluten flour tends to be thirstier than its gluteny cousin. My guests loved it and I am still feeling pretty pleased with how they worked out.
200g butter (unsalted is good or demi sel)
200g dark chocolate
10 cardamon pods
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200g brown caster sugar
100g sour cherries
100g pistachios (Not salted)
90g gluten free flour (I use doves farm organic)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180o and line a 23cm square baking tin with non stick foil or baking paper.
In a bain marie (water in a saucepan with a glass/pyrex bowl on top) melt together the butter and chocolate with some salt if the butter doesn't have any (a few pinches of sea salt is good). While that's melting away peel the cardamon pods and take out the black (or sometimes light brown) seeds and then crush them all in a mortar and pestle. Add that to the chocolate along with the vanilla and give it all a good stir. Leave this to cool for a few (say 5) minutes.
Beat the eggs briefly then add that to the mix with the sugar and beat to combine well.
Do the same with the cherries and pistachios - unlike me you may want to roast the pistachios first and chop them and the cherries up. Now add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
Pour into your prepared pan and cook for 20 - 25 mins or until the top is dry and maybe a little cracked (as below). Even if it seems unsteady underneath don't cook them for too much more as they do continue to cook after you take them out and the dense sticky brownie-ness of them really is enhanced by keeping them underdone.
Serve with vanilla icecream.