saffron brownie

decorated with walnuts, hickory nuts, and mint

This saffron brownie is hard to classify. It is interesting, a word, of course, that says very little. I must admit, I had more fun making this dessert than I did eating it. I (sadly) added too much ground cardamom, which was a bit overpowering. But to call this a “brownie” might be somewhat misleading. Mine turned out like a very thick spread, which wasn’t all that surprising since Batmanglij recommends serving this brownie with bread in addition to serving it alone as a dessert.

I don’t want to sell this brownie short either. It is good in its own way, perhaps. And besides, the brownie looks beautiful.

Further, the technique I learned is amazing. Batmanglij calls this a “halva,” which (apparently) is an incredibly dense dessert. If I make this brownie again, perhaps I wouldn’t need to add a full stick of butter and a cup and a half of canola oil. Ha! Goodness. But anyway, basic technique is: (1) make and set aside a simple syrup, (2) stir a combination of flours into melted fat, (3) stir this thing on the stove for about 25 minutes, (4) add syrup to the fat and flour mixture, (5) stir, stir, stir, and (6) chill. And there you have it. Halva. Or, one variation, it seems.

about ten minutes into stirring the fat and flour mixture

just stirred the syrup into the fat and flour mixture

about three minutes into the “stir, stir, stir” section … I think I stirred it for about six minutes after I poured the syrup into the fat and flour mixture

I have completed 28 of Batmanglij’s 268 recipes. Percentage complete: 10.45%

This, I believe, is my last June post. I am very much looking forward to what July brings.


  1. I have enjoyed your June posts! Looking forward to July!

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