Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Extreme Caffeine Mocha Brownies

As my work colleagues can attest, I used to be a 4 cups of java a day kinda girl. I think they may have been just a little scared the morning that I announced I had gone cold turkey and given up coffee. period. Too be honest I wasn't concerned about the caffeine but rather the cream that I was putting in my cup - in fact one co-worker once looked at me and said - wow, is that coffee with cream or cream with a drop of coffee? I tried skim milk once, but honestly it makes it look like dirty water. I love blending the cream until a soft, warm caramel colour develops...mmmmm. Anyways, I went cold turkey for about 8 weeks. Then I went on vacation and had a few cups - cause there is nothing better than sitting on the deck looking out across Okanagan Lake in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand. But once my vacation ended so did my relationship with my caramel coloured beverage. To be honest, I don't really miss it much...just a little. And this "little" bit of missing brought me to today's recipe.

My Mom has made the basic version of these brownies since I was a kid. They are chocolatey, dense and flavourful without being too heavy. I could eat a pan of them, if I could pry them out of the hands of my family. This time I added a couple hits of caffeine thanks to Starbucks instant coffee packets - they are sooo convenient for baking.

I also had a tub of mascarpone cheese in the fridge that I had to use up so I wanted to make an icing to accompany the brownies. Unfortunately the "icing" came out like a chocolate mousse - a very good mousse - but definitely not an icing. So I just piped the caffeine infused mousse onto the top and the side of the brownie (I admit, it is also good by the spoonful :)

Ingredients for brownies:

1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 packet Starbucks instant coffee
3/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Place butter in small sauce pan over low heat. Add cocoa and once butter is melted (just melted not bubbling) whisk until cocoa and butter are combined. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2. In medium mixing bowl add eggs and bet until frothy.
3. Add vanilla, coffee, flour, salt. Do not stir!
4. Pour butter/cocoa mixture on top and then stir until combined.
5. Scrape batter into 8x8 baking pan.
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

1. Brownies should never be overcooked! You want to bring them out of the oven before the edges of the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan.
2. These brownies are delicious without any icing but everyone once in awhile everyone gets a craving for some so go ahead and indulge.

Caffeinated Mascarpone Mousse - definitely not icing!
1.5 cups mascarpone
1.5 cups whipping cream
1 packet Starbucks instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup castor/berry sugar
1/3 cup cocoa, sifted

What to do:
Combine cocoa, cream, coffee and vanilla in small sauce pan over low heat.
Whisk until combined and smooth. Bring to a light boil and remove from heat.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or more. It must be cold.
Transfer to large mixing bowl and add mascarpone.
Beat on low speed until blended and then increase speed to medium-high.
Beat until thick and medium-firm peaks form about 2 minutes. Be careful! If you beat it too much, it may curdle (still tastes good but doesn't look so great!).

Pipe mousse on each brownie when served.



  1. The brownie looks really good but I like the piped mousse even better :)

  2. That perfect caramel color your coffee gets to when mixed with cream...that's how I like it too. It has to be just so. :)

    These brownies sound tasty and decadent and I like the caffeinated mascarpone mousse!

  3. Oh goodness! these brownies look amazing!!

  4. I made the mistake of reading this in the morning. Now I really, really want one of these for breakfast. Okay, maybe two or three. Yum!

  5. These look and sound delicious. This is my first visit to your blog so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did. I love your recipes and the welcoming tone of your blog. I'll be back often. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. I am still that 4 cups a day (or more) and love anything baked with coffee. Will definitely give these a try. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I wonder if Starbucks has those packets in decaf? Any caffeine at all sends me through the roof, and those brownies look heavenly!

  8. brownies and coffee are perfect together!! and that mousse is a perfect touch!! isn't it amazing how good marscapone makes it taste!

  9. This looks like a great way to curb a coffee craving. The mascarpone mousse sounds like a lovely addition, though I'd probably be tempted to lick most of it straight off the spoon.