Brownies, in my opinion, are an excellent baking equaliser. You don’t have to go to the neighbourhood bakery to get a good brownie (although bakery brownies are, in my experience, consistently fantastic). You can whip up a batch at home in less than 30 minutes.
Now, some people swear that boxed brownies are unquestionably the best. As a professional baker, I believe that homemade is best. Brownies made from scratch take little more time than those made from a boxed mix (Ivy Odom’s Best-Ever Brownies require only 15 minutes of active time).
Additionally, when you make brownies from scratch, you have complete control over the proportions and quality of each ingredient. This means you can use dark or milk chocolate, natural or Dutch process cocoa powder, as well as white or brown sugar. Each of these variables will have an effect on the final product, allowing you to create the perfect brownie.
My ideal brownie has a fudgy centre, a crackly top, and a rich, dark chocolate flavour. I’ve made thousands of brownies in my line of work; if I’m going to make a batch for myself, I’m going all-out—I want it to be decadent, rich, and chock-full of chocolate. Years of extensive brownie recipe testing led me to discover a secret ingredient that enhances the brownies’ chocolatey flavour: espresso.
Caffeinated brownies may sound strange, but bear with me. Coffee and chocolate complement one another exceptionally well. By incorporating a small amount of espresso powder into your brownies, you can enhance the chocolate flavour by adding additional richness and depth. Now, do not be concerned: you are not adding nearly enough espresso powder to taste the coffee flavour (or get a caffeine buzz). We combine two tablespoons of instant espresso granules with the melted chocolate and sugar in our recipe for Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies.
If you’re still looking for the perfect brownie recipe, we can’t say enough good things about our Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies. If you already have a favourite brownie recipe, try replacing the wet ingredients with one to two tablespoons of instant espresso. If you’re using a boxed mix, you can either use brewed coffee in place of the water or simply add espresso powder to the dry ingredients.