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Cardamom & Sea Salt Brownies

While the Mashpi Cardamom and Sea Salt chocolate bar is delicious on its own, this brownie recipe transports you to the forest where they make them!

When we visited Mashpi Choco in 2019 we hiked hours through the cloud forest to get there. From the moment we walked through their gates the aroma of chocolate and spices surrounded us. Walking among the cacao trees there are all the local trees, fruits and spices that Mashpi uses for their chocolate bars and their regenerative forestry work. Alejandro, the head farmer and co-owner of Mashpi Choco passed us this fresh little green pod and says taste this. We peeled the tiny pod open to reveal a pod of 8 little beans. Popping 2 in our mouth, the flavor was bright and sharp … Fresh Green Cardamom. I had never tasted fresh cardamom before and honestly had mostly worked with already shelled cardamom pods. The cardamom was floral and spicy with notes of stone fruit, ginger, and the surrounding forest flowers. Moments like this are unforgettable. This brownie recipe transports us to the forest of Mashpi Ecuador every time. See our notes on sourcing cardamom after the recipe!

Make this recipe gluten free. Substitute the cup for flour for 1/2 cup of sorghum or rice flour, 1/2 cup of gluten free oat flour and 2 tbsp of corn or tapioca starch.

Ready to serve in: 45 minutes
Active time: 20 minutes
Serves: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks (340g) Butter
  • 1/2 tsp of Cardamom, ground (see below for our notes on cardamom)
  • 2 1/2 cups (340g) of Brown Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 cup of Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup of Flour 
  • 1/2 tsp of Kosher Salt
  • 1 /2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Mashpi Cardamom & Sea Salt Bar, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350* F.
  2. Place 2 sticks of butter in a medium sauce pot. Chop the remaining stick of butter into cubes and set aside. Place the pot over medium heat, cook the butter until it becomes fragrant, nutty and golden brown, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the ground cardamom to the hot butter and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the cubed stick of butter and stir until melted. 
  4. Allow the butter to cool, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the sugar to the butter and stir until incorporated. 
  6. Crack 1 egg at a time into the sugar and butter mixture, stirring well until incorporated. After the addition of the last egg is incorporated, the mixture should look lighter in color and be fluffy. 
  7. Add salt and cocoa powder and mix until incorporated.
  8. Add flour and chopped Mashpi chocolate bar and mix until incorporated. 
  9. Spread onto a 8x8 tray that has been lined with greased parchment paper. 
  10. Sprinkle the sea salt over the top and bake for 14 minutes. Rotate the brownies and bake for an additional 14 minutes. Test with a cake tester or skewer. Remove from the oven when the batter stuck to the cake tester comes out clean.

Recipe Notes:

Lets talk Cardamom: There are 2 main types of cardamom- Green and Black. Green cardamom is the most commonly found type of cardamom. This cardamom when it ripens begin to turn yellow. Black cardamom is the larger cousin of Green cardamom traditionally found in the Himalayas. Black cardamom has a richer smokier, savory character than the bright floral green cardamom. In our pantry we stock the Yellow Cloud Forest Cardamom from Burlap and Barrel spices and Black Cardamom from Kalustyan's. Both of these types of cardamom are delicious in these brownies. We prefer the yellow cloud forest cardamom because it tastes very similar to the cardamom grown in the forest at Mashpi Chocolate and used in their bar.

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