These gorgeous little bombs were the 4th "cookie" that my sibs and I traded in our holiday swap this year. You regulars may remember the other "swap" recipes we've already shared, the Chewy Gingers, the 3 Chocolate-Cranberries, and the Chocolate Mints. For what it's worth, just a half-step behind the Gingers at the finish line, these were my second favorite of our swapped treats.
What makes them so special is the surprising blast of coffee flavor in the brownie. They look like a slightly dressed-up chocolate brownie on the outside, but by adding espresso (we used Starbucks VIA "French Roast" instant coffee), and the creamy white chocolate topping, this brownie mimics the flavor of a cappuccino wonderfully. If you're not a coffee fan, then these won't be for you, if you are, prepare thee for a new addiction.
A quick tip before I set you loose on these hotties. Starting with the Ad Hoc Brownies that we made last year, I ALWAYS bake brownies in a Silicone Solutions 9 x 9 Inch Square Cake Pan , not a metal or glass one. Why? Because once the brownies are fully cooled, you can easily remove the whole block from the pan making them much easier to frost (as you need to here), or just cut into nice neat little (or BIG) squares…yes, this is anal-retentive Steve talking here.
Buy one, it'll be the best $10 you'll ever spend.
Cheers – Steve
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
White Chocolate Ganache:
- 6 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Callebaut), chopped
- 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat oven to 325°F. Fold 16-inch-long piece of foil to 8x16-inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Spray foil with nonstick spray. (If using a silicone pan, you can skip all this pan-prep stuff)
- Stir butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over very low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake brownies until puffed and dry-looking and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 35 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack.
For the white chocolate ganache:
- Place white chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate in bowl. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave on low power in 10-second intervals until white chocolate is melted completely. Chill until ganache is thick but still slightly pourable, about 25 minutes.
- Using foil as aid, lift brownies from pan. Turn over onto sheet of parchment paper; peel off foil.
- Pour ganache onto center of brownies; spread to edges (some may drip over). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill until ganache is set, at least 2 hours.
- DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
- Cut brownies into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 5 or 6 pieces, or cut each strip into 6 triangles. Arrange brownies on platter and serve.