Make Ahead

Espresso Brownies with Espresso Ganache

February  6, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by At Home with Friends
  • Makes Approximately 48 1 1/2” Squares
Author Notes

These brownies should be marked “For Adults Only." They are deep, rich, dark chocolate with an intense hit of espresso. There is espresso powder in the brownie and in the ganache frosting. I cut them into tiny 2-bite squares and it’s like having a shot of espresso after dinner. The intense chocolate flavor comes from a combination of unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. The richness comes from the sour cream. The abundance of toasted walnuts compliments all the other ingredients. The brownies stay super moist and the ganache is rich and decadent. The last touch of salt adds to the “Adults Only” caveat. —At Home with Friends

Test Kitchen Notes

The espresso taste came through clearly with the brownies and the silky ganache, and the salt was a nice touch, though not really necessary. The freezing approach was interesting and my guests liked them very much—definitely a do-ahead, time-saving dessert! —feastathome

What You'll Need
  • For the brownies:
  • 2 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • For the espresso ganache:
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • Sea salt, for garnish
  1. Butter a foil-lined pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Chop walnuts into large chunks and set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder and set aside.
  3. Place the butter and unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium heat and cook until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir until smooth and set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer, beat the eggs to mix. Carefully add the sugar and beat together for 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream to the egg mixture and mix briefly.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture, then the flour mixture and beat on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times just until thoroughly combined. Don’t over-mix!
  6. Remove bowl and fold in the walnuts by hand. Pour into the prepared pan, then smooth the top using a small offset spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. Cover the entire pan with a cooling rack and invert the pan and rack. The pan should lift off, along with the foil. Cool the slab completely and carefully wrap it in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to two months.
  8. To make the espresso ganache, place the chocolate into heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until bubbles appear. Stir in the espresso powder until dissolved.
  9. Immediately pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Let the ganache stand at room temperature several hours until cool and firm enough to spread.
  10. Take frozen brownie slab out of freezer. Place on a cutting board. Slather with ganache and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into small bites. Any leftovers (as if!) can be frozen.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • At Home with Friends
    At Home with Friends
  • galsmu
  • Love2Cook

6 Reviews

galsmu February 26, 2016
Is freezing a requirement? Can I just chill and then spread with ganache?
At H. February 29, 2016
Yes of course, you can chill the ganache and use it without freezing. I always like to let people know when items can be made ahead and case you're like me and like to keep goodies on hand for unexpected guests.
Love2Cook February 11, 2016
One more question - your header says there is espresso in the ganache frosting as well as the brownies, but I don't see it in the list of frosting ingredients.
At H. February 11, 2016
This is so seems that as I transferred recipe from my blog some items got dropped. 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder is perfect in this recipe... check out the blog for more great recipes and photos
Love2Cook February 11, 2016
What size pan are these to be baked in?
At H. February 11, 2016
SO sorry this was omitted. I baked them in a 13x9x2 pan, lined with foil with a 2" overhang to make handling easier.
Thanks for the question.