You may remember my post a couple weeks ago about visiting a local lavender farm and harvesting my own bundle of culinary lavender. I was so excited to use my flower buds in a recipe, but first I had to wait for the lavender to dry. After waiting impatiently, my lavender was finally ready to go over the weekend! I remembered the farm owner speaking about how lavender can bring out and enhance the chocolate flavor in dessert recipes, so I thought I'd try using it in some double chocolate brownies.
I was already into my recipe when I realized I only had 1/2 cup of sugar, so I improvised and changed things up a bit. To my surprise, it worked out really well and the brownies were delicious! My recipe is a mix of several different recipes I've seen online (here and here) with some adaptations of my own.
Double Chocolate Lavender Brownies
1/3 cup water (I used cold brewed double-strength coffee with a little bit of water)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (I used four free range guinea eggs)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup local raw honey
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli chips in the gold wrapper are dairy-free!)
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) dried lavender
1) Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x13" baking pan.
2) Whisk water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl to blend.
3) Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, sugar and honey. Stir well until mostly blended then add in the chocolate chips and lavender.
4) Pour batter in prepared baking pan (batter will be thick) and spread out with a spoon.
5) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting (I find that a plastic knife works best when cutting brownies).
My addition of coffee and lavender really brings out the chocolate flavor in these brownies (of course the chocolate chips don't hurt much, either). The texture is light and fluffy with a nice crumb, which is a little more cake-like than I'm used to but a nice change of pace. The brownies aren't overly sweet and the lavender adds just the right floral touch to make the dessert seem so sophisticated. I don't know that I'd make these for kids, but if you are looking for a dessert that's a little more grown up, this is the one for you.
Have you ever used lavender in a dessert recipe?