To be in Ottawa on the eve of Canada's 150th birthday is to be granted a rare and special opportunity. Preparations for the event were well underway when we visited and the nation's capital was gearing up to host a giant party to mark the day.
We walked around lovely Parliament Hill where booths, tents and a massive stage were set up. Speeches, tributes, music, fireworks and a visit from Prince Charles and Camilla added to the excitement in the air that even rainy weather couldn't dampen!
Parliament Hill is both the heart of the city of Ottawa and also the location in which some of the greatest moments of Canada's history have been enacted. With beautiful Gothic style buildings overlooking the Ottawa river, it offers spectacular views and is easily the best place to start your tour of charming Ottawa.
Ottawa was selected as the nation's capital because of its location at the meeting point of Quebec and Ontario. Its unique blend of French and English cultures is reflected in its cuisine as well, ensuring that great food abounds in the city! We enjoyed flaky croissants, garlicky escargot, meats simmered in rich red wines and amazing fresh seafood from nearby lakes.
This grown up version of a childhood favourite comes with a hit of espresso strong enough to make you sit up and take notice. The fudgy center pieces with the molten core and hint of cardamom are the ones everyone fights over; enjoy with a mug of milk or more espresso!
For more recipes using cardamom, read A Craving For Cardamom.
Espresso Cardamom Brownies
4 squares (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (1 ½ stick) butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 cups flour
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp finely ground cardamom
Heat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8X8 inch baking pan with foil, spray with cooking spray.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on medium 1-2 min or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely smooth.
Stir in 1 ½ cups sugar. Add 4 eggs and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in 1 1/4 cups flour, ground cardamom and espresso powder.
Spread into foil lined pan.
Bake for about 23 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs (do not overbake). Store leftover brownies in refrigerator and warm gently in microwave for 10-15 sec, before serving.
Makes 16 Servings