Remember that one time in college when you split a brownie with your roommate and then ate an entire box of cereal? These aren’t those brownies but that’s not to say they’re not special. Until two weeks ago, I had never heard of a hop brownie. In fact, the thought of cooking, let alone baking, with hops left a bitter taste in my mouth. That all changed the day I visited the Goschie Hop Farm in Oregon and experienced Gayle Goschie’s special hop brownies. The interplay between hop character and chocolate was assertive yet delicately balanced – I was a fan.
Back in San Diego, I couldn’t help but wonder how well a hop brownie would pair with Boardwalk Black Rye. I decided to find out– and after several failed attempts in the unofficial Karl Strauss R&D kitchen (my house), I struck gold. In hindsight, I should have asked Gayle for her recipe but I think we can all agree that experimenting is fun.
Cascade Hop Brownies:
Preparing hop butter/oil:
¾ Cup Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
1/2 tablespoon ground Cascade hop pellets
* Use a food processor or clean coffee grinder to grind hop pellets
Heat butter or oil in small saucepan over low heat until warm (too hot and you’ll extract too much bitterness from your hops). Remove from heat and stir in ground hops. Let stand for 5 minutes and strain through a coffee filter. Yields a little over ½ a cup of green hop infused oil/butter.
Method #1: From the Box
Step #1: Go to the grocery store and purchase a box of Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge Brownie Mix.
Step #2: Substitute 1/3 cup veggie oil with 1/3 cup of hop infused oil.
Step #3: Follow the instructions on the box.
Method #2: From Scratch
1/2 Cup hop infused vegetable oil or butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Large eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
* Vanilla Bean Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 nonstick metal baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk hop-infused oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Next, add the egg and beat in well.
3. Gradually mix in dry ingredients until batter is well blended. Fold in chocolate chips before spreading evenly in your 8×8″ baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven half way through the cooking time for even baking. The brownies are done when a stick inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs but no batter.
Vanilla Bean Frosting
1/2 Cup butter (softened)
2 Cups powdered sugar ( sifted)
1 Vanilla bean (seeded)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add butter, sugar and 1/2 vanilla bean to a mixing bowl. Gently whisk until well blended. Whisk vigorously for 3 minutes, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for 1 minute.