Fig, orange and cardamom brownies are a sophisticated version of a much loved Bill Granger ‘healthier chocolate brownie’ recipe that I’ve been making since the kids were little. I love the texture of the dried figs and the crunchy pumpkin seeds, while the ground cardamom and orange zest deliver a beautiful aroma. The brownies don’t take long to make, and they taste just as good the next day. They’re great for school lunches, or for a mid-morning snack with your coffee.
I love to use dried fruit in recipes for a little bit of sweetness. I read somewhere long ago that in many recipes, you can reduce the quantity of sugar by up to a third. While I wouldn’t do this when making a fancy cake, it works quite well for muffins, cookies and brownies. I usually replace the sugar with the same amount of another ingredient, such as rolled oats or almond meal. Why don’t you give it a go?
Figs go well in savoury dishes, too. You might like to try this fig and olive herb paste https://atamandastable.com.au/fig-and-olive-herb-paste next time you’re putting a cheese platter together.
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Fig, Cardamom and Orange Brownies
- 140 g dried figs, chopped
- 140 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 90 g wholemeal spelt flour substitute with plain flour if you don't have spelt flour
- 60 g cocoa powder
- 95 g brown sugar
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp flaked sea salt
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds substitute with sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Grease a 20 cm square baking tin and line it with baking paper.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in figs and 1 tbsp orange juice. Set aside to cool.
- Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and cardamom into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, orange zest and brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Whisk the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl, then add the date mixture.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top. Bake for about 20 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.