These are super fudgy, rich and indulgent little brownies and perfect to serve with coffee.
You could cut larger pieces and serve as a dessert with cream, but I think they are best cut into small squares as a little treat with hot coffee.
These are very quick to make and rather than buttering and flouring the tin, I line with foil so there is no problem getting them out – just leave to cool and lift out.
I actually think they are at their best when they have fully cooled and been allowed to stand for a while. If you make them the night before, they will be perfect for coffee the next day.
If you want the full coffee taste, but not the caffeine, you could always use decaf.
2 (100g) packs of good quality dark Belgian chocolate, broken into small pieces
120g room temperature butter, plus extra for greasing
2tsp vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
250g caster sugar
140g plain/all-purpose flour
3tbs good quality cocoa
2.5tbs espresso powder
50g milk chocolate and chocolate espresso beans or chocolate covered coffee beans to decorate
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare a 20cm/8inch square tin by buttering and lining with foil, leaving a little extra either side so you can pull the bake out afterwards. Butter the foil to ensure nothing sticks. A tin with square corners is best.
Melt the dark chocolate and stir in the butter until both are melted, smooth and shiny. I do my melting in the microwave and the residual heat should melt the soft butter, but you might need an extra 10-20 seconds if it’s a very cold day. Leave to cool a little.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together, add the vanilla and stir in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Do not beat, just stir, you don’t want air bubbles in your brownies.
Sieve together the flour, cocoa and salt and gently mix into the wet ingredients until just combined – taking care not to over-mix.
Pour into the prepared tin and give it a few taps to release any air that might be trapped in the mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes until the tops are shiny. The centres will be fudgy and moist.
Leave to cool in the tin to firm up, before lifting out and cutting into squares.
If you are decorating, melt the milk chocolate and either spoon or pipe a little onto each brownie and place a chocolate espresso bean onto each one. White chocolate would work well here too.