I picked up a brochure for a restaurant chain running Ramadan specials and quickly ran through it until I stumbled on a familiar image. Golly, that was MY photograph! Taken three or four years ago (of kafta sandwiches); spent the following hour debating whether I should go after the unethical bunch.
This brownie recipe is my third try; I wanted to make a halvah batter and swirl it into the chocolate batter. Halvah is sold everywhere here, is cheap and some brands are excellent; it comes in three or four options: Chewy, with pistachios, with chocolate swirls and plain. I was told Lebanese Army soldiers eat it for breakfast (with bread, great idea). These brownies though would be for a 4 PM snack attack.
INGREDIENTS: Line a 9″ (or 8″) brownie pan with parchment paper
• For the brownie layer: 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
• 1 heaping tbsp cocoa
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• dash sea salt
• 4 oz unsalted butter
• 2 tsp coffee liqueur or vanilla
• 5 oz halvah
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 cup milk or whipping cream (add a few more tablespoons if the mixture is too thick)
1. Place the halvah in a saucepan. Add the milk (or cream) and set it over low heat, stirring from time to time. When the halvah is dissolved, add the cornstarch and stir to blend; turn off the heat and set aside to cool a bit.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat or in the microwave. Let the mixture cool a bit and add the liqueur and stir to combine. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and thick, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the power of your mixer. Add the chocolate mixture and combine.
3. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter and combine.
4. Add the egg to the halvah batter and mix to combine well. Pour the chocolate batter onto a cake pan lined with parchment paper. Add the halvah batter and with the handle of a wooden spoon form swirls if you want. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and serve.
These are always starving and love stale bits of bread.