A little goes a long way when you cook with lavender. It has a fantastic earthy, spicy taste that adds an unusual punch to baking, so if you like chilli in your chocolate or extra ginger in your gingernuts, you're likely to love it. These brownies came about when my favourite new Streatham cafe, Serendipity, tweeted about their lavender brownies. I checked my fridge, cupboards and garden, realised I had all the ingredients, and hit the kitchen.
Worried the lavender will be overpowering? For a subtler taste, take a clean jar and fill it with sugar. Add a tablespoon of lavender for every 100g of sugar. Shake well and leave for a week, then sieve out the lavender before using.
For the caramel, use Hazel's sea salt caramel sauce. Salt adds an interesting contrast to the rich, sweet brownies, but leave it out if you prefer. And if you can't be faffed with making it, then simply buy a tin of caramel.
Lavender and caramel brownies (makes 16 small squares)
You will need:
- 225g caster sugar
- 110g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 85g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp lavender
- 200g caramel
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper, allowing it to overhang the tin to make it easier to lift the brownies out.
- Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, and stir in the lavender. Fold this into the wet ingredients.
- Pour half the brownie mix into the tin. It helps if you weigh the bowl at the start so you can accurately divide the mix in half. Pour the caramel over the top - it'll pour more easily if slightly warm. Then top with the rest of the brownie mix.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until slightly springy in the middle, and a skewer inserted comes out with a few crumbs. Leave to cool for five minutes, then lift out on the paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices and eat.