Question: How can you make a tray of gooey-centred, crispy-edged, fudgily dense, deeply chocolatey brownies even better?
Answer: stud them with sweet, vanilla-scented chunks of white chocolate, lace them with dark, rich black coffee, and scatter them with crunchy, aromatic coffee beans.
This recipe is for all of you who can’t resist the sweet-bitter sugar-crunch contrast of a chocolate covered coffee bean. Who crave that luscious combination of bracing caffeine and comforting, blanketing chocolate. Who revel in the pleasure of the crisp crust of a chocolate brownie giving way to the dense, fudge-like centre, but who like their brownies a little darker, a little different, a little more intense than your average.
These are everything you want from a chocolate brownie, but given added depth with a generous dose of strong black coffee. There’s melted butter and chocolate, laced with a heady shot of the dark stuff, a good dash of cocoa for extra richness, and white chocolate chips to balance the bitterness of the coffee. If you’re not a fan of coffee cake, tiramisu or other desserts that incorporate your morning beverage, these may convert you: the coffee flavour is subtle, adding an extra depth and potency but without being overpowering.
I decorate these with scattered cocoa beans because they look pretty and because the bitter crunch works well with the intensely gooey centre of the brownies, but you could leave them off if you’re not a fan. Equally, you can leave out the coffee if you just want to make a damn good chocolate brownie.
Not complicated, but an absolute crowd-pleaser. Everyone I’ve made these for has given borderline indecent moans of delight upon consuming them. Try it for yourself.
Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
First, melt the butter and chocolate together in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water. When melted, stir in the coffee. Weigh out the flour and cocoa.
Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the sugar and eggs together for around 3-5 minutes until doubled in volume and pale and creamy.
Fold in the chocolate, butter and coffee mixture, then sift in the flour and cocoa and fold in too until the mixture is just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
Pour into the prepared tin and scatter with coffee beans, if using.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture is just set (it’s OK if it has a slight wobble, as it will set a bit more as it cools). Cool in the tin before slicing into 16 squares.