Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mocha-Frosted Espresso Brownies

I have a major weakness for both coffee and all coffee-flavored desserts.  Even as a little girl, I loved coffee ice cream.  And as much as I try to convince Caroline that my coffee is "yucky," she still likes it and asks for sips when we go to Target (is anyone else incapable of going to Target without also going to the Starbucks in the front of the store?).  It was also a cruel cruel punishment that my biggest craving throughout my pregnancy with Smith was iced vanilla lattes.  So as much as I love coffee, I'm actually not a huge fan of mochas.  I think they are a little too rich for a drink.  But mocha flavored desserts?  I'm all over those.

Sometimes I just can't leave well-enough alone.  I started out wanting to make brownies for dessert one night when we were having some friends over.  Then when I opened my cookbook to the recipe I use, the espresso brownies caught my eye.  So I figured, why not?  And then once they came out of the oven, I thought about how awesome they would be if I topped them with some mocha buttercream.  Again, why not?  And then I remembered these peppermint frosted brownies that I bookmarked at Christmas, and how I loved the thin layer of ganache on top.  And I went for it.

Let me tell you right now that if you make these, you might as well throw your resolutions out the window.  Unless your resolution was to eat more brownies.  In that case, good job!  I definitely should have cut these into smaller squares... but I didn't.  These might be one of the most decadent desserts I've ever made, so it should come as no shock that they are also one of my favorite.  And definitely my favorite brownie. 

Mocha-Frosted Espresso Brownies
inspired by Confections of a Foodie Bride

Triple-Chocolate Espresso Brownies
barely adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 5 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 8 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into quarters
  • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs Kahlua liqueur (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the rack to the lower-middle position.  Line a 9-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.  Use another sheet of foil to line the dish perpendicular to the fist piece, leaving another overhang on two sides.  Spritz with cooking spray.

Add the chopped chocolates and the butter to a medium, microwave-safe bowl, and cook for 30-second intervals, until melted, stirring well after each time.  Whisk in the cocoa and espresso powder until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, Kahlua, and salt until well-combined.  Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and spread into the corners with a spatula.  Level the surface.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Mocha Frosting
adapted from My Baking Addiction, via Smells Like Home
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs Kahlua
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 Tbs instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1Tbs warm water
  • 1-3 Tbs heavy cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Decrease the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  As it combines, increase the speed and beat until it has all come together.  Add the salt, kahlua, espresso, and heavy cream, and increase the speed to medium.  Beat until well combined and light and fluffy.  Add more cream or sugar to get the consistency you like.

Chocolate Glaze
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Kahlua
Melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave.  Stir in the Kahlua

To assemble the brownies, use an offset spatula to spread the mocha frosting in an even layer over the brownies.  Allow to set for about 10-20 minutes. then pour the chocolate glaze over the top.  Working quickly but gently, use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the glaze over the frosting.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until the glaze is set.  Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil overhang, and cut into squares.


Anonymous said...

This sounds so yummy! Love this!

Made in Sonoma said...

Yes, please! Right now. :)

Anonymous said...

i agree, the coffee-flavored desserts always get me, this brownie recipe included! must... make... now...

Amy said...

Mmmmm... these look so yummy!

Heather@KidsintheSink said...

You are definitely NOT the only one that can't resist the Starbucks in Target. That's one of my favorite "dates" to take by myself is grab a coffee and walk around Target. These brownies look amazing. I really need to make these. Resolutions be darned!

Cookbook Queen said...

So many layers of fabulous!!!

Starbucks at Target is irresistible. Stopping there is pretty much a rule.

Jaida said...

These look amazing Josie!!!

Unknown said...

Wow! These look so good! Can't wait to try- thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

My resolution is ALWAYS to eat more brownies (once a week. In moderation.) And these look amazing! I'm not a fan of mochas-the-drink either, but mochas-the-baked-good. All over it.

Anonymous said...

Eating more brownies, sounds like my kind of resolution ;) lol. This sounds like such a yummy brownie

MyFudo™ said...

Just my fave combination in the whole world. Coffee and chocolate is my cup of tea...My little girl loves to take a sip in my coffee cup too...I know right, me, bad momma ;)
Thanks for sharing the brownie recipe! Superb!

Dawn said...

These look amazing! I want to make them real soon. Just one question-it looks like the very last line got cut off under assembly-how long do you refrigerate them for?

Josie said...

Hi Dawn, thanks for catching that! I've updated the instructions. I hope you enjoy them!

Zee said...

Coffee and chocolate is my weakness.. These brownies look fab!

Anonymous said...

Cannot wait to try

Laurel @ Lolly's Sweet & Savory Treats said...

These look glorious. Chocolate and espresso make my heart flutter.

Gwyn said...

I made these for book club & shared them with a few other friends too - everyone loved them & asked for the recipe. These are my new favorite brownie recipe & in the top 5 of my favorite desserts. I used all the Kahlua recommended, used 2-1/2 cups of powdered sugar & 2 Tbsp of whipping cream. The brownies were fudgey and rich and the mocha butter cream was light and full of espresso flavor. The ganache was the perfect way to top them off. EXCELLENT recipe!!!

Simply Tia said...

These brownies look awesome and the flavor combination seems wonderful too! Adding to the must try list.

OrchidsandLaundry said...

O my, goodness, these look amazing!! I LOVE new brownie recipes. You can never get too many :)

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