Chocolate Espresso Brownie Bites

These are super fudgy, rich and indulgent little brownies and perfect to serve with coffee.

Espresso brownie bite3

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.

Espresso brownie bite4

Ingredients
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
½tsp salt
50g milk chocolate and chocolate espresso beans or chocolate covered coffee beans to decorate

Method
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.

Espresso brownie bite2

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.

Espresso brownie bite1

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.

Espresso brownie bite

Baby chocolate Oreo tea cakes with marbled chocolate cheesecake frosting

This recipe makes a lot (at least 18), so would be perfect for a bake sale or fund raising coffee morning.

Oreo cakes

I used the Master Class, non-stick, 12 hole mini sandwich tin for this recipe. It makes perfect cakes with straight sides and has loose bases, so every single cake comes out with no effort.  I got mine from Amazon here.

I once had a delicious cupcake at Starbucks that had a mini Oreo cookie on the top. The girl serving us was enthusing how pleased she was that they had started using the mini cookies, rather than half a normal sized one. I thought it was really nice and wanted to make my own version at home.

The cake recipe includes instant espresso powder which (as Ina says) brings out the chocolate flavour even more. The cakes by themselves are very moist, but the frosting is the star here.

I have seen many recipes online for oreo cupcakes with a lot of them using ground up oreos in the frosting. I’m not so keen on the little bits in the frosting, so decided that I would make a smooth icing with mine.

I then thought how good a cheesecake type frosting would be and because I couldn’t decide whether to do a white or a dark chocolate version, I decided to use both! I don’t have any duel colour piping bags, so just divided the frosting and put melted white chocolate in one half, melted dark chocolate in the other half and made delicious marbled chocolate cheesecake buttercream frosting.  These are very rich and indulgent, but very good with coffee for an occasional treat or for afternoon tea.

…unless you are my eldest son and can easily eat 3 or 4 before feeling a bit sick!

Oreo Cake

Cake ingredients:
400g plain/all-purpose flour
50g cocoa
2tbs instant espresso powder
350g golden caster sugar
2tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½tsp salt
3 extra-large eggs
175g unsalted butter at room temperature
1tbs vanilla extract
150ml sour cream
130ml vegetable oil
300ml whole/full fat milk

Method:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, whip the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy – around 5 minutes.

Beat the eggs with the oil and milk and with the mixer still running, add to the butter and sugar until fully incorporated.

Then with the mixer on low speed, add all the dry ingredients until just mixed in.

Using an ice cream scoop, distribute the cake batter into the waiting tin and bake for around 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Repeat with the rest of the cake batter until you have 18 cakes. Leave to cool completely.

Marbled Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
360g room temperature cream cheese
360g icing sugar – sieved
120g softened butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp instant espresso powder
100g packet of good quality white chocolate – broken into smaller pieces
100g packet of good quality 70% cocoa solids chocolate – broken into smaller pieces

Method:
Melt the dark chocolate with the espresso powder in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then microwave again for 10 seconds, stirring and repeating until almost melted. The residual heat will continue to melt as you stir. Leave to cool and repeat with the white chocolate.

Beat the cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the butter and continue whipping. Add in the vanilla and then on low speed, the sieved icing sugar.

Halve the mixture and place one half in a separate bowl.

In the mixer, add the cooled white chocolate and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the dark chocolate.

For icing, you can either use a dual colour piping bag which is made for such a job, or, as I have done, you can just use a normal piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle, or even just with the end cut off. Fill one side with the white chocolate and the other with the dark chocolate and squish to remove any air pockets. It doesn’t have to be exact as you are going for a marbled effect.

Oreo cake closeup

Cut the cakes in half and pipe a little of the frosting on one half. Sandwich together with the other half and pipe more onto the top and adorn with a mini Oreo cookie.