There is so much chocolate in these brownies you could die. Only to be revived again by espresso. Chocolate covered espresso beans are ground up into a fine powder, used in both a brownie and fudge batter, and sprinkled on top of the ice cream. Then right before serving, hot freshly brewed espresso is poured on top of everything. These are inspired by Caroline Barty's Chocolate Fudge Cake in Chocolate Galore and Sally's Baking Addiction's Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies. —Megan Wells
finely ground chocolate covered espresso beans
unsweetened cocoa powder
salted butter, melted
coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate-I used 62% cocoa solids
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. I like to grease the pan first with butter so the parchment paper doesn't pop right back out.
In a glass bowl, melt the 8 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate for the brownie mix in 20 second intervals, stirring between each with a rubber spatula until completely melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool while you prepare the fudge mix.
For the fudge mix, put the chocolate covered espresso beans in a food processor and pulse until they resemble a fine powder. Measure out a 1/2 cup. In a small mixing bowl, combine the finely ground chocolate covered espresso beans, unsweetened cocoa powder, brown sugar, and powdered sugar. Beat in the melted butter until blended and then stir the boiling water into the mixture, making a smooth paste. Set aside.
For the brownie mix, beat the granulated and brown sugars into the melted chocolate until incorporated. Beat the eggs in one at a time on low speed. Only mix until just incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract on low speed. Gently fold in the flour, finely ground chocolate covered espresso beans, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. This will be very difficult because the mixture will be extremely dry. Do the best you can.
Pour the fudge mix into the brownie mix and fold until only just barely combined (it's nice to have some streaks of fudge). Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges begin to pull a little away from the pan. The toothpick test isn't very reliable because there is so much chocolate in the brownies. Let the brownies cool in the pan completely and then lift them out by pulling on the parchment paper. Cut into squares and then prepare the espresso.
If you don't have an espresso machine, put about 4 tablespoons coarsely ground coffee in a French press and pour in 2 cups near boiling water. Stir with a long spoon, cover with the lid, and brew for 4 minutes. Slowly press the plunger down until it stops. As you let it settle, put the brownies in bowls and top with vanilla ice cream. Slowly pour the strongly brewed coffee (meant to mimic espresso shots) over the ice cream and brownies and serve.