I originally created these brownies as a crust for my Triple Chocolate Mocha Cheesecake.  I wanted something that would add to the mocha flavor and, while I positively adore a good graham cracker crust I am not quite as fond of the chocolate cookie crumb crusts.  I have used a number of brownie recipes as crusts for various cheesecakes in the past but none of them seemed quite right for a mocha cheesecake.  So, after rummaging through my recipe boxes and books and then taking a quick surf around the internet I pieced together this recipe.  As it turns out, these stand quite well on their own – they have a deep chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee and a nice fudgy texture.

Are you ready to give them a try?  Click here for the full recipe and click “Read more” below to follow along!

Before we can really get going we need to preheat our oven to 375°F and butter (or spray with cooking spray) a 9″x9″ pan.  Now we are ready to start baking!

Step 1: The first thing we need to do is melt together our butter, unsweetened chocolate and coffee.

Step 1: image of butter, coffee and chocolate melting together
This is what it will look before everything comes together.

And this is what it should look like just before we remove it from the heat.  I know, it isn’t all smooth and pretty but trust me it really is ok – I promise.

Step 2: While our butter/chocolate mixture is cooling we need to mix together our dry ingredients.

Here we have our flour, cocoa powder and salt.  Just whisk them all together and set that bowl aside too.

Step 3: Now it is time to put the wet ingredients into play.

So, sugar really is a dry ingredient, but it is going to dissolve nicely with our eggs and vanilla and help create the creamy light texture we are looking for.

Like this!

Step 4: We need that pan and bowl we set aside earlier. Quick, go find them!

This is probably a good point to let you know that I found it inordinately difficult to take a picture with one hand while pouring with the other – perhaps I need to invest in a tripod and figure out the time delay on the camera.  Long story short, I don’t have a picture of the next stage of the batter.  But once you mix in your butter/chocolate/coffee mixture it will look a lot like the one above only a nice chocolate brown. Or like the one below, minus the flour mixture.  Moving on!

We’re going to add the dry ingredients in just a little at a time and only mix enough to incorporate the dry with the wet after each addition.

Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions and don’t over mix.  As you can see in this picture I didn’t quite get all the dry ingredients mixed in before the next addition.  That’s quite all right, it is better to have a few spots of dry ingredients showing than to over mix the batter.  The combination of hydration and mixing develops gluten.  If we were making bread that would be perfect, but in a brownie we want to minimize the development of gluten so we get that fudgy brownie texture.

Step 5: Now let’s add some texture.

To give these brownies a little more texture and even more chocolate flavor we are folding in some bittersweet chocolate chunks.  If you like, you could also add some nuts here.  We don’t want to over mix at this point either, just gently fold them in.

Step 6: Time to turn up the heat, let’s get these in the oven!

We are going to spread our batter in the pan we prepared earlier and put it in the already preheated oven.  Set your timer for 20 minutes and go find something to distract you for about that long.  That is it, the end, nothing more to do after this but wait and eat.

After the timer goes off, confirm your brownies are just barely set.  If they are, take them out of the oven and let them cool.  If they are still very loose and jiggly put them back in for another 5 minutes.  Try not to over cook them or you will end up with dry crumbly brownies instead of nice fudgy ones.

Step 7: You could start eating now, or you could make a delicious Mocha Latte Ganache topping for them.

This may be the easiest part of this whole recipe.  We are going to take all of the ingredients and put them in a microwave safe bowl (like the one you see here).  Let’s get that in the microwave for about 30 seconds on high.  Take it out and try to mix it – if the chocolate is still too hard put it back in the microwave for up to 10 seconds at a time.  We’ll mix this until it is nice and creamy smooth.  Let the mixture cool slightly then spread it over our brownies.

What’s that?  You don’t know what coffee syrup is?  Well, you certainly aren’t from Rhode Island then, are you?  This is coffee syrup.  If you can’t get your hands on some you can always make your own, just click here for instructions.

Step 8: Now we really do eat!

Cut your brownies into 3″x3″ squares and indulge in one or two of them.  You might want a glass of milk to go with them.

Or…

You can do what I did for dessert tonight.  Top it with a scoop of Mocha Latte Swirl ice cream and drizzle it with some dark chocolate syrup.  Some of you may still want that glass of milk though!