Cappuccino Brownies

If there’s one sweet that I crave regularly, it’s brownies.  I like them rich, dense, and fudgy.  And these Cappuccino Brownies are capital I “Incredible”.

I’ve made these a number of times since they first debuted in the Bon Appetit magazine exactly one year ago.  The first time was for a dear girlfriend’s birthday lunch celebration.  Normally these girlfriends might not even finish a full piece of dessert.  But not this time.  The brownies were portioned large and every one of us had seconds (or thirds!).  They are truly irresistable.

Besides having the perfect brownie base, these beauties are adorned with a lovely white chocolate ganache, a play on the steamed-milk foam atop a cappuccino.  Lightly dusted with cinnamon, the sentiment is complete.

These cappuccino brownies are extraordinary to me, as I truly am not a white chocolate person.  I love my chocolate dark.  Really dark.  And I’m always the first to point out that white chocolate is really not chocolate at all, but a confection of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids.  But I love these brownies as if my life depended on them.  White chocolate and all.

Cappuccino Brownies
(print recipe)

for the brownies:
nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 T. instant espresso powder (I just use very finely ground espresso coffee beans)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. flour

for the white chocolate ganache:
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped  (I’ve used many different types of white chocolate, it’s all good.)
5 T. heavy whipping cream
a few shakes of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°. Fold a 16″ long piece of foil to an 8″x16″ strip; place in 8×8 metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Spray foil with nonstick spray.

Stir butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over very low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until puffed and dry-looking and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

For ganache, place white chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate in bowl. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave on low power in 10-second intervals until white chocolate is melted completely. Don’t overheat. Chill until ganache is thick but still slightly pourable, about 25 minutes.

Using foil as aid, lift brownies from pan. Turn over onto sheet of parchment paper; peel of foil.

Pour ganache onto center of brownies; spread to edges (some may drip over).  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

Chill until ganache is set, at least 2 hours. Cut and serve.

Source: adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, July 2009