Prep Cook Serves Ready In
10 minutes 35 minutes 16 large brownies 45 minutes

Turkish Coffee Brownies with Cinnamon Caramel

A decadent, Middle Eastern-inspired treat.

I was first introduced to Turkish coffee in Israel. Prepared in the traditional copper cezve, it was served piping hot and in beautiful, delicate cups. I quickly became enamored of its strong flavor and clean, robust taste, unmarred by sugar.

In addition to the pure taste of coffee, there was another flavor I couldn’t quite place. When I asked the brewer what it was, he told me it was cardamom. It seemed a strange combination at first, but as I kept drinking I found it was enjoyable — like a stronger, undiluted version of a dirty chai (Indian-spiced tea). Coffee and cardamom have since become one of my favorite flavor pairings and I think it’s a pairing that has found its true home here, in these deep, dark, ridiculously fudgy brownies.

Now, I know people have fierce opinions when it comes to brownies; fudgy or cakey? Cocoa or chocolate or both? Chemical leavening or just eggs?But I am a firm brownie purist: All brownies should be fudgy, with crackly tops, edges for those who like them, made with both cocoa and chocolate.  You can leave out the coffee and cardamom for a more classic treat or embrace the Middle Eastern flavors and embellish these already indulgent brownies with a cinnamon-spiced caramel and flaked salt, for an over-the-top, just-what-your-January-needs hit of decadence.

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • flaky salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, and grease with a nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a double boiler or a medium heatproof bowl placed over a gently simmering pot of water, melt chocolate, butter, cocoa and sugar together until mostly smooth. Turn off the heat, stir until completely smooth and fully melted.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, espresso powder and cardamom and salt.
  4. Stir in flour with a spoon and scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading until even.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out batter-free.
  6. While the brownies bake, make the caramel: Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a 2-quart pot, stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly.
  7. Cook the liquefied sugar to a copper color. Add the butter and stir until the butter melts. Lower the heat and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, whisking the whole time.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and salt. Set aside until needed.
  9. Cut the brownies into 16 or 32 squares and serve with cinnamon caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.

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