Espresso brownies

I have just finished my (paid) work and am bracing for school home time. It’s been a mixed bag of a week which saw me in tears last night at the thought of making dinner AGAIN (#everyfuckingnight, I swear to God people, every.fucking.night). Sure, there may have been some hormones involved but let’s just put that day to bed.

These are on the front cover of Food52’s baking book from which I want to bake every single recipe. Hey, maybe that’s a challenge I can set myself? And are so very good.

You need a big baking pan – 33 x 45cm, 13 x 18 inch – so get onto that. You could of course just split the mixture between two smaller ones but as to what size they’d be don’t ask me because, well, numeral.

It makes a lot – 24 large brownies, 36 smaller ones. It uses eight eggs. EIGHT EGGS! When I started cooking as a kid and then with a fair amount of gusto as a teenager I’d show mum a recipe and without fail there’d be an exclamation about how many eggs were in it. Were eggs expensive back then? Was there some sort of price collusion in the 80s I was unaware of? Anyway, it uses eight eggs.

Now, even though in the recipe’s intro it talks about how this is the 35th version of  these brownies the recipe creator June Jacobs has created, I still didn’t follow it exactly. Just follow it exactly OK?

Espresso brownies.
Espresso brownies.

Espresso brownies
 
Rich, fudgey brownies with icing on top, as if that's even allowed.
Author:
Ingredients
Brownies
  • 3 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 eggs (EIGHT eggs!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder (use a strong espresso kind)
  • 2 cups toasted nuts (I left these out, totally fine without it)
  • 2 cups choc chips
Icing
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • ¼ cup cognac (I KNOW! Fancy like)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup choc chips
Instructions
For the brownies
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C and butter the sheet pan
  2. In a mixer beat the butter and sugar together but you don't want it all fluffy - these are brownies remember, not a cake, you don't need a heap of air in the mix
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping as you go
  4. Then add the vanilla and salt
  5. Mix the flour with the coffee and cocoa powder and nuts
  6. Add to the butter mixture
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out THEN sprinkle over the choc chips
  8. Swirl the choc chips in a bit (I ignored this and added them with the flour and all the choc chips sunk to the bottom, so yeah, maybe the recipe is right)
  9. Bake for 23½ minutes (don't you love the precision! I did mine for a bit longer because I didn't have the right sized tin and was winging it)
For the icing
  1. Combine everything except the chocolate in a saucepan and stir fairly constantly until it comes to the boil
  2. Let it boil for a a minute or two.
  3. Take off the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth
  4. Pour over the cooled brownies
  5. Drown your troubles.

 

Ode to Nigella 26 – Cream Cheese Brownies

So today I was going to make Nigella’s White Chocolate and Macadamia Brownies but I didn’t have quite enough white chocolate so I was thinking I was hilarious by adding a touch of milk chocolate and calling them dirty blondes. So much so I burnt the chocolate when trying to melt it. So I had to ditch that lot and start again and considering I now had no white chocolate it was the Cream Cheese Brownies instead. And that was certainly not a bad thing.

Cream Cheese Brownies
Nigella Lawson, How To Be A Domestic Goddess

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 125g butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 75g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g cold Philadelphia
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 23cm square cake tin
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together and cool slightly
  3. Beat the eggs and caster sugar together and then add the chocolate mixture
  4. Fold in the flour
  5. Spoon half the mix into the tin and spread it to the edges
  6. Cut the Philadelphia cream cheese as thinly as you can and layer them over the batter
  7. Spoon over the remaining mix and ensure all the cream cheese is covered
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or so.

Ode to Nigella 24 – Brownies

Well, these started out as a disaster (they took more than double Nige’s suggested cooking time) and ended up as a triumph, which has only endeared them to me even more.

Brownies

  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 375g best-quality dark chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1tbs vanilla
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 300g chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line the brownie pan (measuring 33x23x51/2cm)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla
  4. Measure out the flour in another bowl and add the salt
  5. Let the chocolate mixture cool a little before adding it to the eggs and sugar
  6. Add the nuts and flour
  7. Beat to combine smoothly then pour into the lined tin
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes*
  9. When it’s ready the top should be a paler brown speckle but the middle dark and dense. It is a big batch so you need to watch it.

Makes 48 smallish squares.
Variations – replace walnuts with different nuts or shredded coconut or white chocolate buttons or just ditch them altogether. I made them with half slivered almonds and half white chocolate buttons.

*I took them out of the oven after about 40 minutes and let it cool. Then when I cut into it, it was still just a gooey mixture. I was taking them out to dinner last night as a surprise birthday cake for my friend, but had to ditch that idea. I just dumped the whole tray back into the oven to deal with when I got home. Of course, that didn’t happen, so this morning, I just turned the oven on to fan bake rather than conventional bake and they took about 30 minutes to cook up a treat. I took them to a thanksgiving do at the park this afternoon and they were devoured. Devoured I tell you.