Brownies are one of those things that can be simply “lightened up.” In my culinary experience, I’ve made delicious brownies that swapped applesauce for sugar, for instance, or black beans for flour/gluten. The outcome of these “healthier” brownie recipes is generally still pretty tasty, although there is some small part of my brain that isn’t entirely convinced by the altered result. It may be either the flavour or the texture, but something is always a bit off.
These brownies do nut suffer from that problem.
These are real-deal, all-in, no-holding-back, dense, fudgy mouthfuls of pure heaven, loaded with butter, sugar, and chocolate. They are exactly as a brownie should be, in my opinion, and this is my go-to recipe when nothing but a bonafide brownie will do. One of these intensely chocolatey squares still warm from the oven can essentially solve all of my problems.
I haven’t named these Espresso Fudge Brownies because they taste like coffee, but rather because instant espresso powder is added to the batter to bring out the flavour of the chocolate, which it does wonderfully. Whenever I bake something that contains chocolate, I always add a little bit of instant espresso or brewed coffee. I don’t know the scientific reason, but coffee makes chocolate taste good; I’m not going to question it!
Be careful not to over bake your squares, as (if you’re anything like me) you want them to stay slightly under baked and gooey in the centre. And although they’re best fresh and lose a tiny little bit of their magic the next day, they are still moist and delicious for 2-3 days after you bake them as long as you keep them in an airtight container.
Some people frost their brownies, but I think these are just perfect on their own. Maybe a cold glass of milk for dunking, or else a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, but do keep it simple: these brownies don’t need much.
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 and ¾ cups white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on the edges. Grease/spray foil or parchment.
- In a double boiler on the stovetop on medium heat (or in the microwave), melt chopped unsweetened chocolate and butter together in a small bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, espresso powder and cocoa. Gently whisk in the chocolate/butter mixture just until blended. Sprinkle the flour on top and whisk just until combined and no streaks of flour remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre comes out nearly clean. Do not over bake! (Start checking them around 25 minutes if your oven tends to run hot.)
- Using the foil/parchment overhang, gently lift brownies from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or rectangles using a sharp knife. Brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.