Out of fFocus

....just a little out of focus, like this photo. I was running late for work with two giant trays of these little gems for my co-workers, when I heard Mike's voice in my head.."you should really put these on your blog". Ok, Ok....get out the camera...clock ticking, where is the best light at 7:15am in February, in Southern Oregon, in the house, because I'm NOT going outside with this brownie, it's FREEZING out there. After running around the house turning lights off & on, trying to use the flash...nope... kitchen counter, straight down, press the shutter, hope for the best... because now I'm REALLY late!

Speeding to work on an icy morning with two trays of Chocolate Espresso Brownies sliding around on your backseat isn't the most relaxing drive...but they smelled really good, and my car smelled like rich, dark chocolate for the rest of day.

Needless to say the stressful, speedy morning was soon rewarded with contented sighs and oohs as word got out that the brownies were "in the house". Decadent, rich, chocolaty and satisfying were most of the adjectives flying around the office that morning. So if you have co-workers or a sweetie to impress any day of the week....make these brownies!

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever. This recipe is hands -down the best brownie ever!

Chocolate Espresso Brownies
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 ounces butter* + 2 tblsp melted
1 shot pulled espresso*
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare baking pan by lining a 16 X 24 (jelly roll style) pan with foil, and brushing with 2 tblsp melted butter, set aside.

In a kitchen stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and sugar on medium speed for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 6 ounces of butter and 5 oz of chocolate over very low heat until completely melted. Add shot of espresso coffee to melted chocolate. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. When the 15 minutes are up for the eggs and sugar, add the sour cream and vanilla to mixing bowl and mix for another minute to incorporate.

Add egg mixture to large bowl with flour mixture, slowly add the melted chocolate mixture to the large bowl as well. Fold all ingredients carefully. Mix until just incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve plain....or I always make a double-decker brownie with icing....here's how....

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Over very low heat or double boiler, heat cream to just warm, add chocolate and stir until thoroughly melted. Add vanilla and sea salt.

Transfer your cooled sheet of brownies by flipping them onto a large board or counter top.
Cut brownie sheet in half to make two 16 X 12 squares. Pour approx. half of your prepared ganache onto one half. Spread ganache evenly. Carefully place the other half of the brownie sheet on top of your ganache covered layer. Pour and spread the rest of the ganache on the top layer. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into squares, serve.

*Espresso- if you don't have access to an espresso machine, you can use purchased espresso, very, very strongly brewed coffee, or instant espresso powder, use 5 tsp.
*Butter- you can use unsalted butter, if you prefer, I have found no difference in the finished brownie using salted butter.

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.


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