This is an easy yet extremely delicious coffee brownie recipe that consists of fudge brownies decorated with light and airy coffee whipped ganache.
Let me start with a confession, it took me years to create the PERFECT brownie recipe that has amazing texture AND taste at the same time. This Coffee brownie recipe is thick, fudge and gooey in the middle, crinkly and crispy on top with intense chocolate taste! However, to be completely honest with you, personally I can get overwhelmed with too sweet desserts including brownies. Hence, I created this coffee brownie recipe that is beside being crazy fudge and gooey in the centre, the sweetness is offset by a light coffee whipped ganache.
If you like brownies - and who do not like it? - you will love this version with extra coffee cream on top! These coffee brownies are a dream for brownie and coffee lovers, let´s get started!
How brownies should look like
- Crinkly top – During baking a crinkly skin should form on top of the brownies that is crispy and makes the brownies brownies, not a cake. Please note that if you are changing the recipe eg. reducing sugar, you won´t get the iconic crinkly top
- Dense texture – Brownies should rise only a tiny bit due to the eggs however it should not rise like a sponge cake, in fact it should stay rather dense. Having said that, dense does not mean flat. If you have been experiencing “flat” brownies before, probably you either has to increase the quantity of the brownie batter or choose a smaller pan
- Fudge center – Brownies should have a fudge, gooey texture. There is nothing worse than over baked brownies with crumbly texture! I suggest to rather under bake than over bake the brownies. Beside over baking, reducing the fat content (butter) also results in cake texture as opposed to gooey
- Intense chocolate taste – Brownies should have deep chocolate flavour and colour that is achieved by combination of good quality dark chocolate and high quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder. Try using the the best quality ingredients, it will make a huge difference
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read this Coffee Brownie recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking. Not much issue is expected during making brownies but still worth to check my tips so that your brownies will turn out exactly like mine
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate it in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Eg. reducing sugar, replacing egg or not using the ingredients on the right temperature will certainly have an impact on your brownies
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is an indicative figure only but not accurate and a little bit of too much or too little of certain ingredients can easily ruin the balance in the texture of the brownies
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important in baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe! Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid over baked crumbly brownies
Important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Homemade Coffee Brownie recipe
For the brownie
- Butter: Use always unsalted butter as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this recipe butter will need to be melted so no need to bring it to room temp as we usually state in many other recipes
- Sugar: For this Coffee brownie recipe I use a combination of white and brown sugar. If you had baked my recipes before you probably realized that usually I don´t use a huge amount of sugar, however in case of brownies, sugar is super important and have a huge impact on the brownies texture and the iconic crackly top. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: I use simple AP flour. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- No baking powder: Having no chemical leaveners in the recipe (like baking powder) will ensure fudge, gooey brownie!
- Chocolate: The quality of the chocolate along with the quality of cocoa powder will determine the overall taste of your brownie therefore I recommend using the best quality you can access. I suggest to use dark or at least semi-sweet chocolate as with milk this brownie recipe would become way too sweet . The chocolate I am using is Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
- Cocoa powder: Generally always use unsweetened, 100% cocoa powder in baking. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark colour and it is lower in acidity
- Coffee: We are using a small amount of coffee in the brownie batter. It won´t really taste like coffee, but coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. Make sure you freshly brew a strong espresso like coffee
For the coffee whipped ganache
- White chocolate: Use good quality white chocolate for this chocolate based ganache, I find that really works well with coffee. Avoid using “baking chocolate”. The chocolate I am using is Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets)
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream has a fat content between 36% and 40%, the one I use is 36%. Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based “whipping cream”
- Gelatin: It´s an odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, very often used by pastry chefs particularly in mousse cakes. Powder or sheet versions are available, in my recipes I always use sheet (1,7 g / sheet), which I found easier to handle. You can replace it by gelatin powder of the same weight. If using sheet, simple soak the gelatine sheet into cold water for a few minutes before you need them and use it according to the recipe. Please note that gelatine is not suitable for vegetarians. Agar agar can be a good substitution for vegetarians however replacing gelatine with agar agar is not 1:1 and can only be done by reformulating the recipe slightly
- Coffee: As above, I recommend brewing a strong espresso type of coffee and use it straight away while it´s fresh
My top 8 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Coffee brownie recipe
1. What cake pan is the best to make brownies?
Honestly almost any pan can be used to bake brownies however my preference is a 7 inch /18 cm square brownie pan! What is more important is how you prepare your pan before baking brownies!
Remember, the brownie will be gooey, fudge so you want to make sure that you can remove it from the pan in one piece without breaking it. How to prepare the pan before baking? With the help of a pastry brush, brush the inside of the cake pan with a tiny bit of oil or melted butter then use parchment paper on the bottom and side as well. The oil only needed for the parchment to stick to the pan. What I love about this pan preparation is that even though my brownie always super gooey, with the help of the parchment paper it is incredible easy remove the baked brownie from the pan and brownie won´t stick to it whatsoever.
2. How to melt chocolate without burning it?
Double boiler is a common method for melting chocolate without burning it. You might have to play around with combinations of pans and bowls to find the perfect fit but it works perfectly fine. While melting chocolate, make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove chocolate from the heat as soon as it is melted, as it is possible to overheat chocolate, and in that case it will break.
Other option is to melt the chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds. If choosing the microwave option, I suggest to place chocolate into a plastic container as it is much easier to burn it in a glass container.
Either way, aim to use good quality chocolate with high cocoa content eg. Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) both in terms of texture also taste point of view. Low quality chocolate might already break at the melting stage and become greasy.
3. What is the process of making these Coffee brownies
Making brownie is extremely easy but there are a couple of key steps you have to get right to achieve the right texture.
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale
- Pre-heat oven, use Digital oven thermometer
- Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, mix freshly brewed coffee in
- In another bowl beat together the eggs with sugar with the help of an Electric hand mixer until pale this might take 5-7 minutes
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg sugar mixture, mix well with a Rubber spatula. Do not use a mixer at this point
- Sift flour, salt and cocoa powder together (this will be your dry ingredients). Sifting is necessary to avoid lumps later in the brownie mixture
- Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure you fold it with a Rubber spatula only until the mixture comes together, literally 30 seconds. Do not use a mixer and do not over mix the brownie butter. Over mixing ingredients would result in incorporating too much air and gluten into the mixture in which case the brownie might get a crumbly, cake like texture and we do not want that!
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared 7 inch /18 cm square brownie pan , smooth the top with an Offset spatula
4. How do I know that my brownies are ready baked?
Baking brownies is a super delicate matter, the most important part of this recipe!
First of all never bake any dessert without properly pre-heating your oven first, so start with that. The brownies will be baked at 180 C / 356 F so preheat the oven +20C / 68F as the oven temp drops when you open the door. Always use Digital oven thermometer to avoid over baked crumbly or underbaked brownies.
Each oven is different so you might need to adjust the time slightly but in my oven I bake these brownies for 20 minutes however please always focus on the texture, not the time. The brownie is ready when the edge looks sort of baked and the middle slightly gooey but not raw. Do not over bake your brownies! Every other recipe usually state “bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean”, this is totally not the case for making this Coffee Brownie recipe or any other brownie recipe. The toothpick should be gooey and if it is clean, it means you sadly over baked your brownies.
Let the brownie cool in the 7 inch /18 cm square brownie pan then carefully cut it into 16 squares. Do not take the brownie out of the pan while it is still hot as it will further set as it cools. Also do not attempt to cut it while it is still hot as it will be way too sticky.
5. How to get crackly top on brownies
Everyone is crazy about crackly brownie surface, let me tell you that I was not very good with that for a long time and reason being that I always tried to bake brownie with less sugar than I should. Please do not change this recipe, it is perfect with the right amount of sugar to give you that lovely crackly surface. Reducing sugar will have an impact on the overall texture of the brownie as well as the crackly top. If worried about the sweetness of this brownie, instead of reducing sugar, make sure you use high quality dark chocolate that will offset the sweetness of the sugar. Brown sugar also brings beautiful molasses flavour to these coffee brownies so make sure you do not skip that.
If, for some reason, crackly surface would not develop on your brownies, bang the tray on the kitchen counter for a few times (5-10 minutes before baking time ends), that will encourage cracks forming on top! Easy peasy!
6. How to get gooey center on these coffee brownies
For gooey brownie first of all you need a brownie recipe that has the right ratio of ingredients eg. high enough fat content (butter) vs flour, good news is that this Coffee brownie recipe perfectly delivers on that!
Secondly, you must measure your ingredients with a digital scale, a little bit too much of this, not enough of that can majorly change this recipe eg. adding a little bit too much flour might ruin the gooey center you strive for.
Thirdly, do not over bake the brownies! In fact, it is like making cookies, you have to take them out of the oven when they do not look properly baked yet… I know it is scary but it is better to under bake your brownies than to over bake them.
There is nothing worse than over baked brownies.. having said that, you might need to experiment with your own oven in this regard. The brownie is ready when the edge looks baked and the middle looks gooey but not raw. The brownie will further set as it cools and it will even further dry for the next day. As mentioned, straight out of the oven the brownie might be sticky and too gooey but it will set as it cools.
7. How to make coffee whipped ganache
First of all, why make whipped ganache? Ganache is chocolate-cream 1:1 ratio mixture however to reach a chocolate based but not too sweet yet pipeable frosting, I recommend making this easy coffee whipped ganache recipe.
While taste is obviously very important, in case of chocolate the quality goes way beyond taste, good vs poor quality chocolate that can make or break any recipe. I recommend to chose a high quality brand with high cocoa content chocolate to avoid disappointment. I am using Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) that tastes amazing and works wonderfully silky while making ganache.
Regarding the cream, I am using heavy cream that has 36% fat content. Do not make ganache using low fat creams or vegetable creams.
How does the process look like to make coffee whipped ganache
- Place finely chopped chocolate into a bowl or use Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets)
- Soak gelatine into cold water
- Brew some espresso like strong coffee
- Heat the smaller portion cream with coffee just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could burn the chocolate. If the cream is not warm enough, it won´t melt the chocolate properly and won’t emulsify
- Mix gelatin into warm cream & coffee mixture
- Pour warm cream over the white chocolate
- Let the two sit for a minute then stir together or use a blender to emulsify
- Once slightly cooled, pour the rest of the cold cream into the mixture and fold until mixture fully incorporated. Do not use blender neither hand mixer at this point, just gently fold with a rubber spatula
- Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and refrigerate for min. 6 hours, overnight even better
- 6 hours later or the next day take the ganache out of the fridge, it should have a thickened consistency due to the gelatin. Gently whip it in a stand mixer or with the help of an electric hand mixer. It will reach a fluffy, pipeable consistency in a minute or two. Make sure, you do not over beat the ganache after this point as it can get runny
- Once ganache is fluffy and pipeable in consistency, place it into a piping bag fitted with a French star nozzle tip and decorate the brownies. If ganache is more on the soft side, place it first into the fridge for an hour to further set
8. Can I make this brownie recipe without coffee?
Yes, you can, but why would you? Seriously, the amount of caffeine in this recipe is not that much! If you do not like the taste of the coffee, try my other brownie recipes:
- Fudge Pecan brownies recipe - This Pecan brownies recipe is thick, fudge and gooey in the middle, crinkly and crispy on top with intense chocolate taste, crunchy pecans, and a pinch of cinnamon… absolutely out of this world! Recipe in here
- Raspberry Brownies recipe - If you like brownies, you will love this version with raspberries that are perfectly balancing the sweetness of the chocolate brownie. Gooey, dreamy center, crinkly top sprinkled with freezed dried raspberries…brownie can´t really get any better than this! Recipe in here
- Brownie Blondies - Can´t choose between brownies vs. blondies? You don´t have to! This Brownie Blondies recipe might become your favourite, the perfect combination of chewy chocolate brownies and fudge blondies! Recipe in here
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RECIPE CARD - Fudge coffee brownie
Coffee whipped ganache
- 40 g Heavy Cream 36% fat
- 20 g Coffee Freshly brewed strong espresso like coffee
- 50 g White chocolate eg. Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets)
- 100 g Heavy Cream 36% fat, very cold
- 1 Gelatine sheet 1.7g gelatin
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Start with coffee whipped ganache
- Soak gelatine sheet into cold water
- Place Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) it into a heatproof bowl
- In a small saucepan bring heavy cream (the smaller amount) and freshly brewed coffee just into boil, remove from heat
- Squeeze excess water out of the gelatin sheet and whisk it into the hot cream
- Pour the hot heavy cream gelatin mixture over chocolate, let it stand for a few seconds then whisk until smooth
- Once mixture slightly cooled (in about 5-10min) fold in rest of the cold heavy cream (the larger amount)
- Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (min 8h) to set
Continue with brownie
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 356 F
- Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler), pour the freshly brewed coffee in
- In another bowl beat together eggs with sugar just until incorporated
- Pour melted butter and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, mix until combined then sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Fold mixture just until combined, make sure you do not incorporate too much air
- Pour brownie batter into prepared baking pan
- Bake for 20 min. The brownie will look just slightly under baked and it's fine
- Take the ganache out of the fridge and whip it up for a few minutes just until it become light and fluffy. Do not over beat
- For petit four size servings cut the brownie into 16 pieces before decorating with coffee ganache