I had a talk with myself the other day. I told myself that I was forbidden from making any more recipes that I found on the internet until I started using the (many) cookbooks that I have. I have a tendency to gravitate towards recipes I find on the internet because there are pretty pictures and people have reviewed them and offered their critiques. (Of course, this doesn't stop me from buying cookbooks; it just delays my using them.) Well, I'm glad I "forced" myself to start using my cookbooks because this one is a real winner! So let this post be a reminder to those of you with neglected cookbooks on your shelf...
I started flipping through the book "Bars & Squares" that I have and marking pages of the recipes I wanted to try. Before I knew it half the book was marked! I highly recommend this book. Everything I've ever made from here has come out amazing. I have no idea why it has been neglected for so long. I ultimately decided on the Cappuccino Brownies because it was a rainy day and they just seemed like a good rainy day snack.
You see that corner piece on top? That one is mine!
These are truly brilliant! The brownie itself it amazing. Very dense and chocolaty. The coffee flavored filling is something else all together. This stuff is dangerously addictive! It would make a great cupcake frosting or filling between layers of a cake. The bitterness of the espresso powder cuts the sweetness of all the sugar so the frosting isn't sickeningly sweet like some are. And the ganache on top... well it's chocolate ganache people... need I say more? Individually all the components of this brownie are amazing, but when you put them together it's divine!
This takes a little while to make because you have to let it cool between layers but overall it's pretty easy. Feel free to cut these into small pieces because it is very rich and a little bit goes a long way.
I took a few liberties with the recipe. The recipe below includes the changes I made. First off, I changed the brownie to be a little more like the "baked brownie" that I'm absolutely in love with. I added cocoa powder (in addition to the melted chocolate) and I used part white sugar and part brown sugar. And of course I upped the salt because I tend to do that with almost every dessert I make these days. For the filling I almost doubled the instant espresso powder that it called for because I wanted a stronger coffee taste. The coffee taste is definitely there but it isn't at all overpowering.
In my opinion these are best served cold from the fridge. The filling is little firmer and I think it just brings out the taste more. But then again, I'm the person who puts every candy bar in the freezer before I eat it so my opinion may be a little biased. I'm sure these will be good any way you eat them!
Recipe: Adapted from: Bars and Squares
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
- 1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
- 1 - 2 tbsp milk or cream
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- Brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan (or line with parchment paper).
- In a medium bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, untill the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and whisk in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition.
- Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. Do not overbeat! Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
- Frosting: In a bowl, combine espresso powder and 1 tbsp of milk or cream, stirring to dissolve. Add in butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to blend then on medium speed until creamy, adding more milk, if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over the brownie. Chill to harden, about 1 hour.
- Glaze: Put the chocolate chips and whipping cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Let cool to lukewarm. Spread over frosting. Chill until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars or squares.