Notes: If you don't have a pan with a removable rim, bake the brownies in a regular 8- or 9-inch square or round baking pan and use a spatula to remove servings.
3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter, cut into chunks
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup instant espresso powder or instant coffee
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur, such as Kahlúa
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 oz.)
How to Make It
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 1/2 cup butter and the unsweetened chocolate. Stir often over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and beat in granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons espresso powder, the eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour just until incorporated.
Pour batter into a lightly buttered 8- or 9-inch cake pan with removable rim (see notes). Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until center springs back when gently pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 hour.
In a bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup butter and 1 tablespoon espresso powder with the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons liqueur. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat mixture until smooth and fluffy, adding up to 1 more tablespoon liqueur if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable mixture. Spread evenly over the top of the cool brownie cake.
Place chocolate chips in a 1-quart unpleated zip-lock plastic bag. Heat in a microwave oven at full power (100%) at 15-second intervals, squeezing chocolate between intervals, until melted and smooth, about 1 1/4 minutes total. Squeeze chocolate to one corner of the bag, then cut off about 1/4 inch of that corner. Pipe chocolate decoratively over buttercream. Chill until chocolate is firm, at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, remove pan rim. Cut brownie cake into wedges and set on plates.
Made this tonight for a get together at a friends house. My husband and I both liked it and our friends did too.
Buttered and floured the bottom of the spring form pan.
Dissolved the instant coffee in the Kahlua as mentioned by someone else.
Melted chocolate on stovetop via double boiler method. Got kind of hot to pipe in a plastic bag, but it did work.
Typed a better review, but this site jacked it up...
To avoid flecks of espresso in the frosting, dissolve the instant espresso in 2 Tbspns of Kahlua first. Let stand for a few minutes. In the meantime, place softened butter in the mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, then pour the Kahlua mixture over the sugar. Turn on the mixer, scraping sides of bowl.
A sure winner. You can use a round cake pan. However, the pan must be lined (with foil). Trace the shape of the pan onto the foil, line it (marked side down), and then butter. As for the sides, you can run a knife around it. For step 1, I actually creamed the sugar first, added remaining ingredients to to the stand mixer, adding the melted chocolate + butter last. I took the cake out at 20 mins, but it was a little too dry...will check it sooner next time. I let the cake cool over night and let the butter for the frosting thaw over night. A stand mixer makes the frosting wonderfully fluffy. Expect to see specks of the instant espresso/ coffee. For step 4, I am weary about the combination of plastic + heat + ingestion. Rather, I melted the chocolate in special ceramic cups for melting chocolate found in the craft stores, candy making section. I have the small cups, so I used 3 of those at once on 50% microwave power, 30 seconds intervals, 3 times. Stirring a must (wooden stick) or you'll get burnt spots. Then I transferred the melted chocolate on to a sealable quart freezer bag. Use good scissors to make a small, clean snip. Don't worry about an imperfect piping. The cross lines will trick the eyes. Don't worry about the aberrant squiggly lines b/c it makes a pretty variation. Do the best you can as quickly as possible before the chocolate hardens. If the tip is clogged, snip and use the other end. I topped each slice with 1 -2 pieces of chocolate covered espresso bean(s). When it's all said and done, there was not a single crumb left, and no one noticed the imperfect lines. We paired it with well-steeped cocoa Chai tea with 1-2 drop(s) of vanilla extract and passed the creamer. Heavenly.
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