Recipe: Earl Grey Brownies With Lavender Honey Ganache

This was my first Bakespace recipe submission in response to the Baker's Edge brownie contest. I didn't win anything, but it was really just for fun. It's an original recipe, so it's experimental. I tweaked it a bit after testing—I thought the flavors weren't quite strong enough and that it was a little overly dense—but I haven't tested it again. I think the crystallized lavender is really what adds the most interest, although I originally added it just for the visual.

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 oz. unsalted butter (1.5 sticks, cut into quarters)
6 oz. eggs (4 large)
13.5 oz. granulated sugar (1.75 cups)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. looseleaf Earl Grey tea, ground in a coffee grinder
5 oz. cake flour (1.25 cups)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or butter pan.

2. Melt the chocolate with the butter over a double boiler.

3. While the chocolate is melting, whip the eggs and sugar in a large mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes.

4. Combine Earl Grey powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Sift.

5. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the eggs. Stir by hand to blend completely. Fold in the flour, mixing until just combined.

6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

7. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

8. Allow to cool, then add ganache and garnish with crystallized lavender (recipes below). Refrigerate.


Lavender Honey Ganache

2 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 oz heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lavender

1. Finely chop the chocolate into 1/4-inch pieces.

2. Place the chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.

3. Place lavender flowers in the cream and scald. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and rewarm.

4. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently in a circular motion, starting from the center of the bowl and working out to the sides. Be careful not to add too much air to the ganache. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and completely emulsified.

5. Cool. Spread over brownies.


Crystallized Lavender

1 egg white (pasteurized, if desired)
1/4 cup lavender
1/2 cup sugar
food coloring (optional)

1. Color sugar with food coloring, using fingers to spread color evenly. I divided the sugar and used both pink and lavender.

2. Spread lavender onto a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil. Using a pastry brush, coat dried lavender with egg white. Spread sugar over lavender, mixing with fingers to coat evenly. Allow the lavender to dry.

3. Stir lavender to remove clumps, and transfer to an airtight container.