Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 28th September 2012
For all you die hard Chocolate Lovers these Espresso Truffle Brownies were prepared with you in mind. Definitely not for the faint of heart! Seriously, these are the real deal – ooey, gooey, fudgy chocolate goodness. The espresso enhances the flavour giving them an intense chocolate kick.
What’s the best way to enjoy these brownies? With a dollop of light, vanilla-flavoured whipped cream and a tall, cold glass of milk.
Do nuts really belong in brownies? According to me, the answer is a whopping yes! Unfortunately according to my kids, the answer is emphatically no.
It’s the dilemma I’m faced with every time I prepare brownies. But this time I asked myself this question, are they opposed to the nutty flavour (if so, very ironic because they both enjoy nuts) or the texture?
I’ve been pretty lucky over the years; my children for the most part aren’t picky eaters. I never had to disguise the vegetables. I credit this largely to my parents. We were extremely lucky because my father retired the year Liana was born and my parents graciously offered to care for the kids. The wisdom gained from raising nine children definitely prevailed; they enjoyed whatever my parents prepared without any fuss.
I’m definitely a chocolate and nuts kind of girl (actually chocolate, nuts and fruit – hmm…fudgy, nutty, fruity brownies – sounds really good to me!), and although I’m a pleaser I decided to be selfish just this one time by disguising the nuts. I ground them finely before dropping them in the batter. I know I’m a terrible person, how will they survive? If nothing else the mystery will be solved, flavour or texture? Will they even notice (probably not)?
My son, Matt, has been bugging me for weeks to prepare a “regular” dessert, “nothing fancy Mom”. The first thing that popped into my head was brownies. I probably should’ve stopped there but I didn’t. I’m hoping these will satisfy his craving although something tells me he may have preferred plain fudgy brownies with m&m’s.
We’ll soon see if these espresso truffle brownies are what he had in mind. Perhaps Fudgy Chocolate Brownies, take two?
Considering Liana brought half the batch to work this morning I may not have a choice but to bake another batch. Something tells me these truffle brownies won’t last very long.
Which brownie camp do you belong to, with nuts or without?
Espresso Truffle Brownies
Just a friendly warning, these are extremely rich and decadent. For the faint of heart, cut into smaller pieces.
Makes 16 5-cm by 5-cm (2-inch by 2-inch) squares
- Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
- Espresso Chocolate Ganache
- Sweetened Whipped Cream
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
- 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, extra for greasing tin
- 6 g (1 tablespoon) Dutch-process cocoa, extra for dusting tin
- 339 g (12 ounces) good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 60 ml (¼ cup) freshly brewed espresso
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 250 g (1¼ cups) golden yellow (light brown) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 63 g (½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 75 g (½ cup) walnuts, toasted, cooled and finely ground
- 240 g (1 cup) good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Grease 20-cm x 5-cm (8-inch x 2-inch) square baking tin with softened butter. Line base and sides of tin with non-stick baking paper leaving a 5-cm (2-inch) border on each side. Lightly grease paper and dust with cocoa, tapping out any excess.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water over low heat (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Remove from heat.
- Whisk together hot espresso, cocoa and vanilla until cocoa is dissolved. Whisk into the chocolate mixture.
- Add the sugar and whisk until blended well.
- Add the eggs, one at-a-time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
- Using fine mesh sieve, sift together the flour and salt onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Gradually add to the chocolate mixture, whisking to just combine.
- Whisk in the ground nuts.
- If using, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let stand until brownies cool completely.
Espresso Chocolate Ganache
- 240 ml (1 cup) heavy (whipping) cream, 35%
- 4 g (4 teaspoons) instant espresso powder
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) golden corn syrup
- 283 g (10 ounces) good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together cream and espresso over medium heat until espresso is dissolved and small bubbles begin to form around the sides of the pan. Remove from heat, cover and let stand, 30 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter into a clean saucepan (if necessary sieve a second time to ensure no coffee grinds remain).
- Add corn syrup. Return to medium heat and bring mixture just to a simmer (small bubbles just beginning to form around the sides of the saucepan) stirring until corn syrup is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.
- Let stand, 2 minutes. Using flexible spatula, stir the chocolate, beginning in the centre of the bowl and working your way to the edge, pulling in as much chocolate as possible, until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled brownies in the pan. Using offset spatula, spread to cover completely. Let stand at room temperature until the ganache is set, about 3 hours.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
To Serve Espresso Truffle Brownies
- Sweetened whipped cream, optional
- Chocolate covered espresso beans, optional
- Carefully lift brownie from tin and transfer to cutting board. Using a large sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry with a kitchen towel, cut brownie into squares. (Make sure knife is dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.)
- Transfer whipped cream to large pastry bag fitted with large plain tip. Pipe a mound of whipped cream onto the centre of each brownie square. Top with an espresso bean (place on peak and gently press down).
- Buon Appetito!
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