Valentine's may be over, but chocolate is appropriate for, well, every day of the year, really, even if it comes with a big red and white sprinkles heart.
On a whim, I mixed up a pan of brownies last week to take in to work on Friday, and since it was Valentine's Day and all, I thought it only right to decorate the ganache with sprinkles in the shape of a heart.
For the brownies, I used my recently tested recipe for very dark, very fudgey brownies that I previously topped with Andes Mint buttercream. After my sister made the recipe, she said that it was "the last brownie recipe she would ever need," and I have to say that I agree. I've made lots of brownies over my past few years of blogging and this recipe is by far, my favorite.
I made half the recipe and baked them in a round spring form pan so that I could easily remove them and drizzle with an espresso ganache with a hint of coffee liqueur. As I was to discover after bringing them in, people really love coffee and chocolate for breakfast.
One Year Ago: Chocolate and Brown Butter Toffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
Two Years Ago: Cherry Vanilla Soda Cupcakes
Brownies with Espresso Ganache and a Sprinkles Heart
· ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
· 1 cup granulated sugar
· ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1 teaspoon espresso powder
· ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
· 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
· 2 eggs
· ½ cup all-purpose flour
· ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
· 3 ounces cream
· 1 ounce coffee liqueur (optional)
· 2 teaspoons espresso powder
· 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Baker’s Note: To make the ganache without the liqueur, eliminate the liqueur and reduce the chocolate to 3 ounces.
Preheat the oven to 325. Spray a round springform pan with removable sides with non-stick spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper (or, use a square 8x8 baking dish and line with parchment paper so the paper hangs over two ends).
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt. Pour the melted butter over the cocoa mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg; batter will be very thick. Stir in the flour, just until moistened, then the chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist, sticky crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the ganache, combine the cream, liqueur and espresso powder in a small saucepan. Heat gently over low heat just until it begins to simmer around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; let stand for 3 minutes. Stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.
Remove the brownies from the pan and set on a serving plate. Pour the warm ganache over the cooled brownies and decorate with sprinkles before the ganache sets.
For my simple sprinkles heart design, I just placed a large cookie cutter in the center of the ganache before it set; the cutter will sink slightly into the chocolate. Quickly add sprinkles inside the cutter, then carefully lift the cutter away.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen