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Espresso Brownies

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Brownies are a controversial subject. By varying the proportions of a few simple ingredients you can get drastically different outcomes. Which style of brownies do you prefer: Cake-like fluffiness or batter-like gooeyness? Take this Espresso Brownie recipe for example; it is a standard recipe that I have enhanced with a shot of espresso. The addition of two fluid ounces of espresso changes the consistency and the depth of flavor. It adds a barely perceptible nuanced layer to the chocolate flavor profile, making it richer and more delicious. The consistency changes too. If you like moist and gooey brownies, try this recipe!

Because the ingredient list to make Espresso Brownies is quite short, it is important the ingredients are of the highest quality you can find, especially the espresso. Believe it or not, I started making this recipe by roasting my own espresso beans. This is not for everyone, but it is an interesting process to undertake. I roasted a quarter pound of unroasted green coffee beans in a Behmor 1600 electric coffee roaster. The roasted coffee beans then sat for four days in a canister so they could give off carbon dioxide in a post-roast process called outgassing.

Next, I ground the freshly roasted coffee and used a Chemex pour-over preparation invented by a German chemist in 1941. The borosilicate glass carafe is inert and does not impart any flavor to the final brew. Espresso blends may be prepared using other coffee making methods too; you do not have to have an espresso machine at home.

Once you have prepared the espresso, pre-heat your oven to 350F and select the pan you will use. A common size used for baking brownies is a 9-inch square pan. Other pans equivalents are: 11x7-in baking dish, 9-in round 2-in deep-dish pie plate, or 9x5-in loaf pan. I used an 8x8x2-in glass Pyrex knowing these Espresso Brownies would turn out even gooier.

Gather the ingredients together. The dry: 1/4 tsp. (1.3 g) baking soda, 1/2 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup (80 g) cocoa powder, and 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) table salt. And, the wet: 1/4 tsp. (2.5 mL) vanilla extract, 2 oz. (60 mL) prepared espresso or strong coffee, 4 oz (115 g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200 g) sugar, and 2 large (100 g) eggs.

Stir together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and prepared espresso in a bowl. Add the eggs. A silicone spatula works well for stirring the wet ingredients and incorporating all of the dry ingredients. Take your time, it can get messy if you go too fast. When thoroughly mixed, use the spatula to spread the batter evenly into a greased pan.

Predicting the length it takes to bake Espresso Brownies is the trickiest part of the whole process. Depending on your oven's consistency, the pan size and whether it is glass or metal makes a difference in baking time. Pull the pan out after 30 minutes and visually inspect the brownies. Have they pulled away from the sides of the pan? Also check the center to see that it doesn't jiggle. Then use the toothpick method. Take a toothpick (or in my case a unicorn shaped corn on the cob holder) and insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out coated in batter, bake again and check after ten minutes. If the center doesn't jiggle and there are just a few crumbs on the toothpick then the Espresso Brownies are done.

Let the brownies cool completely in the pan. This could take hours or overnight.

Enjoy with a nice hot cup of coffee or espresso!

Espresso Brownies
Butter and flour an 8x8-in pan
Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C)
4 oz (115 g) unsalted buttermeltmixmixfold inbake 350°F (170°C) 30 to 40 min
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/4 tsp. (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
1 shot (4 Tbs; 60 mL) fresh brewed espresso or very strong coffee
2 large (100 g) eggs
1/2 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (80 g) Hershey's cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. (1.3 g) baking soda
1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) table salt

Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things coffee.

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Written by Samantha Joyce
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4 comments on Espresso Brownies:(Post a comment)

On August 07, 2013 at 08:40 AM, BerlinDave said...
Subject: Brownies
In the picture you show baking soda but in the recipe you call for baking powder. The first batch of brownies that I made were relatively hard and I am wondering if perhaps I had an ingredient wrong?

Thanks in advance -

David Schaffnit

On August 13, 2013 at 06:27 PM, Dilbert said...
I have not be able to turn up the recipe anywhere else -indeed the picture and the text are curiously not the same.

and , , , I have seen brownie type recipes using baking powder, or baking soda, and both....

it's certainly unclear - if you give the baking soda a try, let us know how that compares to the as written baking powder.

On August 28, 2013 at 03:52 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Brownies
BerlinDave wrote:
In the picture you show baking soda but in the recipe you call for baking powder. The first batch of brownies that I made were relatively hard and I am wondering if perhaps I had an ingredient wrong?

Sorry, the author was on vacation. I've gotten an update on the recipe and it is supposed to be baking soda. I've updated the article. Sorry for the failed batch of brownies!

On April 11, 2014 at 02:19 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Espresso Brownies
Instant espresso (in granular (dry) form) can be used in brownies instead of actually brewing some.

Try 1 tsp. Then for next time , if prefer more or less of the flavor, adjust the measurement accordingly.

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