Thursday, March 11, 2010

Espresso Brownies for my favorite law student

One time I shipped Rochelle espresso brownies for her birthday because I figured she's in law school and could use all the extra caffeine she can get.

She cut them up, froze them, and took one to school every morning for breakfast. And when someone asked her if they came from Starbucks she became thoroughly offended and flatly informed them that they were in fact home-made brownies shipped all the way from California!

Rochelle came home yesterday and I drove out to visit her with more espresso brownies. She cut into them immediately... I think we hugged, then she then she ran to the kitchen with the brownies... In fact, I'm not sure she even used a knife she was in such a hurry. Rochelle, did you use your index finger cut these?

Rochelle and I graduating from college

She might have. Which is to say that these brownies are absolutely amazing. Espresso is the perfect accompaniment to chocolate, and in brownie form, the pairing is a total home-run. In fact, I always add espresso powder to my brownies and ganaches if I have it on hand; a little bit of coffee will always intensify the flavor of chocolate without over-powering it.

The original idea for these brownies came from Giada De Laurentiis, who added espresso powder, chocolate chips and a creamy espresso glaze to a boxed brownie. If you choose to make your brownies this way, might I suggest using Ghiradelli chocolate brownie mix? In my own at-home taste tests, I've concluded that these are hands-down the best boxed brownie.

I made these brownies from scratch, however, using my favorite Alton Brown cocoa brownie recipe. They bake up super dense and fudgy, which is exactly the way I think brownies should be.

Espresso Brownies

adapted from Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food and Giada De Laurentiis via
makes 1 8x8 inch tray of brownies
I like Alton's baking recipes because he includes the option to measure ingredients by weight, making for more precise results. If you have a kitchen scale, by all means, haul it out for this recipe.

• 4 ounces or 1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
• 3.5 ounces or 2/3 cup all purpose flour
• 1/8 ounce or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 4 large eggs or 7 ounces
• 1/3 ounce or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 7 ounces or 1 cup granulated sugar
• 8 ounces or 1 cup brown sugar
• 8 ounces, 2 sticks or 1 cup melted unsalted butter
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons espresso powder
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons hot water

Place an oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Prepare an 8-inch square pan by greasing it with cooking spray.

Sift together 2 tablespoons espresso powder, flour, cocoa and salt.

In an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs at medium speed until light. Add vanilla. Mix in sugars and reduce speed to medium-low, incorporating thoroughly.

Add the butter and the remaining dry ingredients in three alternating doses, starting with the wet and finishing with the dry. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

Cool brownies.

Make icing by dissolving 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in the 2 tablespoons hot water. Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature, and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Pour and spread evenly over brownies. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes to set before cutting.

1 comment:

chelleness said...

i love you! and these brownies! <3
(they're cut up and frozen already in my freezer haha.)

I used a knife! But, i just cut one out and ate it immediately, then proceeded to cut the rest of the pan.


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