I am an unabashed brownie lover. I cannot make them that often because I will literally gobble down the entire pan - I cannot control myself. Moving to Germany and not having Ghiradelli Brownie mixes readily available has been a pretty good thing for me (or really horrible depending on when you ask me).
However, I have been committed to make more things from scratch whether or not a mix is available - especially things that have such a short list of ingredients that are all part of my regular pantry. A little while back I visited the Lindt Chocolate museum, followed by a (very long) visit to the museum gift shop. It was full of every kind of amazing chocolate product you can think of and the largest selection of high-cacao-percentage bars and powders I have ever seen. It was glorious. I picked up some amazing Cocoa made from fair-trade South American beans and I knew right then and there the first thing I made with it would be brownies.
I really did my research. I must have read every brownie recipe known to woman, and when it came time to make them my chocolate-loving instincts really kicked in. I knew I wanted moist fudge like brownies that were so chocolaty only a true chocoholic would appreciate them. Be warned - I really think I succeeded.
These Brownies have a perfect flaky top crust, get the perfect amount of crunchy on the edges, and have a deep, dark, and rich chocolate flavor (enhanced by a shot of espresso). Little bursts of milk chocolate from the chips are just the bonus that will put you over the edge into chocolate bliss. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and any guests might never leave.
Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies
120 g Butter (roughly 8 1/2 tbs)
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
handful milk chocolate chips
3 1/2 Tbs good Cocoa Powder (preferably Broma process NOT dutch process - it has a more intense chocolate flavor)
about 10 g semi-sweet chocolate (a small chunk or two of semi-sweet baking chocolate)
1 shot of espresso*
In a double boiler (you can just use a pyrex bowl over a small sauce pan) over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate and espresso and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
Place chocolate in a mixing bowl (can use same bowl as you used to melt it in - just let it cool down a bit) and stir in sugar until well combined and dissolved. Add vanilla and eggs and quickly whisk until all well combined. Fold in flour and salt.
Pour into a buttered/floured 8 in square pan (or round). Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over the batter so they kind of float on top. Bake at 325 F / 163 C in a Convection oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (if using a convention oven you will probably need to cook for around 20 percent longer).
Let cool in pan on a wire rack (so the bottom of the pan cools as well) for around 20 minutes or so before cutting. Enjoy sprinkled with powdered sugar or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream :)
* If you don't have espresso easily available - use a dark brewed coffee (no need for fancy machines though - I make my espresso on the stove top in one of these). It doesn't add a strong espresso flavor - just a hint that enhances the darkness of the cocoa. But don't worry - you can still enjoy these brownies if you simply leave the espresso out.
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