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Cocoa lavender brownies
Good cocoa powder, browned butter and muscovado sugar give these rather grown-up brownies an intensely chocolate-y depth of flavour. Add walnuts or chocolate chunks to the batter at the end if you like, or leave them in their pure state ± both taste delicious. Makes 16. 170g butter 200g caster sugar 100g light muscovado sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 100g cocoa powder 50g plain flour ½ tsp dried lavender ¼ tsp salt 100g walnut halves or chopped chocolate (optional) Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment. Let the strips hang over the sides of the tin by about 8cm ± this'll make the brownies easier to remove when they're cooked. Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat until it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty. Set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy ± when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter. Sift together the cocoa, flour, lavender and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chunks, if using, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few moist crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.