Monday, June 10, 2013

Espresso Brownies with Cappuccino Buttercream

After recently making a pan of brownies which were very popular with Jamie's friends - the Irish Whiskey Brownies - I couldn't resist making brownies again, a fudgier recipe this time, with coffee, which is one of my favorite flavors to pair with chocolate.

These brownies are exactly what brownies should be, in my opinion.  Dark and chocolatey, rich and moist, with a hint of coffee to enhance the chocolate.  For the coffee I used one of my favorite ingredients - espresso powder.  It dissolves quickly and adds such wonderful coffee flavor which is fantastic with chocolate.

Not all brownies need frosting, especially if you're going to top them with ice cream, but I really wanted to make a cappuccino buttercream with said espresso powder to bring out the coffee flavor even more.

So I made these for Memorial Day, to follow our dinner of burgers with grilled onions with sweet caramelized edges, sweet potato fries, and cold watermelon.  After dinner, though, we were both too full to even consider eating a brownie (also, I fell asleep on the couch immediately after, seeing as it had been a very busy weekend and there was work the next day...).  So we took the brownies to work, keeping one at home to share the next evening with a scoop of ice cream.

One of the girls I work with took the lid off the pan of brownies that morning, breathed in the scent of coffee, and said, ''Mmm, here's my breakfast!"

One Year Ago:    Homemade Chocolate Espresso Syrup
Two Years Ago:   Lemony Zucchini Pasta with Tomatoes

Espresso Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Cappuccino Buttercream

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
·         2 cups granulated sugar
·         1 1/2 cups Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 tablespoon espresso powder
·         1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
·         1 tablespoon vanilla
·         4 eggs
·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

·         ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         1 cup powdered sugar
·         ½ cup dark brown sugar
·         1 tablespoon espresso powder
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 325 and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

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 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 before frosting or the buttercream will melt on the hot brownies (these are also wonderful unfrosted).

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until combined, then add the espresso powder, vanilla and milk and beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy.  Spread the buttercream over the cooled brownies.

Cut into squares and serve!

Yields 20-30 brownies, depending on how big you cut them…

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen