Cappuccino Brownies

Of all the delicious treats I served in my bakery over the years, these cappuccino brownies were definitely one of the most popular items. These brownies no longer have coffee in them, ( I found I liked the brownies better without it but you can certainly add it if you like — check out the alternatives section of this post) but they still have white “froth” on the top to mimic the fabulous pick me up!

The Recipe

by volume                                                         by weight

brownies:

1/2 cup melted butter                              113 grams melted butter

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate            87 grams bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup cocoa powder                             43 grams cocoa powder

1½ cups sugar                                             297 grams sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla                                   8 grams vanilla

3 large eggs                                                  204 grams eggs

1 teaspoon salt                                            4 grams salt

3/4 cup all purpose flour                        90 grams all purpose flour

cream cheese layer:

1/2 cup softened cream cheese         112 grams softened cream cheese

4 tablespoons soft butter                     56 grams soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla                                      4 grams vanilla

1½ cups powdered sugar                      183 grams powdered sugar

ganache:

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate           87 grams bittersweet chocolate

3 tablespoons heavy cream                42 grams heavy cream

 

Directions

Heat the oven to 325F. Mix the chopped bittersweet chocolate into the melted butter and stir until completely melted.

Stir in the cocoa and the sugar. Add the vanilla and the eggs and make sure they are thoroughly mixed in. Add the salt and the flour and mix just to combine.

Spread the brownie batter into an 8 or 9 inch square pan lined with parchment.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes until the tip of a knife has just a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely.

For the cram cheese layer, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until completely combined and light in texture.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cooled brownies and spread as evenly as possible. Refrigerate until the icing is firm.

Heat the cream and the chocolate for the ganache together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Pour over the top of the chilled brownies and spread evenly with a spatula.

Rap the pan firmly on the top of the counter to help smooth the top of the ganache. Return to the refrigerator until the ganache is set.

To slice, use the parchment paper overhang as handles to lift the brownies from the pan.  I like to flip the brownies upside down on a clean surface and peel off the paper and then I leave the brownies upside down to cut them. This gives a nice clean edge through all the layers and helps prevent the ganache from cracking.

 

Alternatives

These cappuccino brownies are delicious cold or at room temperature. I particularly like them cold in the summer!

To  make these cappuccino brownies the original way (with coffee) add 1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder to the warm butter to dissolve and then proceed as usual with the recipe.  You could also add chopped bittersweet chocolate to the brownies to add some extra chocolatiness!

I also like these brownies without the layers on top. They are fudgy and lend themselves well to add-ins such as peanuts, chocolate chips, and nuts.

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