Mini Espresso Brownie Cupcakes
It’s February and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, we all know what that means. Here comes the inevitable barrage of chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! Not that I’m complaining all that much you see. I’ll stand on my soapbox for a few moments to criticize the marketing ploys of cardmakers, chocolatiers, and jewelers alike, but at the end of the day, what girl isn’t a sucker for a lovely box of chocolate and sparklies? This one sure is…
I figured with the chocolate extravaganza soon to commence, now was as good as a time as any to try out this new recipe I recently found for bite sized brownies. I am planning on making these to take to some clients later on this week to wow and impress, but thought it prudent to make a “test” batch, you know, for the sake of quality control and all that business. The recipe itself was pretty simple and straightforward, but I wanted to add a little extra punch to what was already promising to be a fantastic little brownie. What could possibly kick this up a notch? Coffee. Yes, coffee. Espresso to be exact. Sugar rush, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, caffeine high.
All joking aside, these brownies came out fantastic. The espresso gave these little bits of heaven a twist of dark, rich flavor that pairs so well with each chocolately bite. Definitely make these for your Valentine or, you know, as a reward for yourself for being such an awesome person!
Mini Espresso Brownie Cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet | December 1999
Yields @96 mini cupcakes
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs
6 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Special equipment: mini–muffin tins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly and evenly spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray
Liz note: The original recipe calls for wax liners to be used in the mini muffin tins. Partly because I don’t have any on hand and partly because I felt too lazy to go make a special trip for them, I decided to forgo the liners and just use a cooking spray in my muffin pan. A good even layer of cooking spray and voila! the brownies came out perfectly
In a large 4 quart heavy pot, melt butter and chocolate over low to medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder. Once butter/chocolate mixture is smooth, remove from heat and whisk in granulated sugar. The mixture will become fairly thick. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until incorporated. Stir in flour mixture and mix until JUST blended.
Using a cookie scoop, fill each muffin well with batter to about 7/8 to the top. Bake in middle rack of oven for 15-16 minutes, until tester comes out with some crumbs. I found that in my oven, it was closer to 16. Cool 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.
Cupcakes may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.