Make Ahead

Cardamom Brownies

June  7, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by shayma
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

In this recipe, a throwback to my Pakistani heritage, cardamom pairs beautifully with dark chocolate. A treat to be enjoyed with a cup of chai. —shayma

What You'll Need
  • 8 to 10 green cardamom pods
  • 4 ounces chocolate (60 to 70%)
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons espresso grounds from your favorite coffee bean
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios, unsalted
  • Dried rose petals (optional; available in Middle Eastern grocery stores)
  • Cocoa powder, to dust on top
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Butter the sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking dish. Dust the sides with flour and tap out excess. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Remove cardamom seeds from their pods. Discard pods and crush seeds in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, wrap the seeds in a newspaper and crush with a rolling pin (or the base of your frying pan). The seeds should not be crushed to a dust—the result should look like freshly cracked pepper. Set aside.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring gently. Take off the heat and add white and brown sugar, salt, espresso, and cardamom powder and stir to combine. Set aside and allow to completely cool.
  4. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add flour and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs. While baking, crush pistachios in a mortar and pestle (or use the same method you used to crush the cardamom).
  6. When the brownies come out of the oven, garnish with pistachio dust, rose petals, and a shower of cocoa powder.
  7. Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing into squares.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley Elysabeth McKee
    Ashley Elysabeth McKee
  • Noá Vago
    Noá Vago
  • AntoniaJames
  • Suzy Q
    Suzy Q
Shayma Saadat is a cookery teacher, food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, which she refers to as Silk Route cuisine. Shayma lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon.

6 Reviews

Suzy Q. August 25, 2019
This sounds wonderful....I use cardamom in sweet and savory dishes and don't remove paper shells. Is it necessary in this recipe? And can I use instant espresso coffee? I have D'Oro but am not sure if the actual grounds are necessary? Thank you for the recipe and reply.
Fatma June 5, 2019
I made those brownies yesterday and I was literally swept away! I love cardamom so much, and combined with 'real' coffee (I added decaf grounds for that evening bite with a cold glass of milk) I was instantly transported to Arabia, even though I live in Egypt! The burst of flavors make this recipe really authentic in addition to the pistachios which add another dimension of flavors. Love it!
CH February 17, 2017
I made this brownie for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day, I was very liberal with the crushed pistachios and dried rose petals haha! It came out really well, crunchy outside with soft moist middle. The cardamom is strong and the coffee is definitely detectable but doesn't overpower. I used a slightly darker chocolate than what was suggested for a richer taste.
Ashley E. December 2, 2016
I love the pistachio and cardamom combination. I've made Turkish baklava with cardamom and rose water....what a treat! Saw this recipe and had to try it immediately. And, boy, I'm glad I did. Wonderful!
Noá V. June 21, 2016
can u taste the coffee??
AntoniaJames June 15, 2016
Mmmmmm, yes. ;o)