Do you like to get what you want? I do. The indecent amount of caffeine in these espresso-loaded, butter-based, frosted brownies will have potential henchmen hooked and doing your bidding in no time.
1 1/2 sticks butter
5 oz unsweetened chocolate squares, chopped in half
2 C sugar
2 tbsp espresso grounds
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 C flour
3 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate square, chopped in half
1 C confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp tepid water
Set the oven to 375. Put the sugar into a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and whisk it together with the sugar. Add the vanilla, then one egg at a time, incorporating each completely before adding the next. Whisk vigorously for 2 minutes. Add the flour, salt and espresso grounds, and stir with a wooden spoon until the batter is once again smooth and consistent.
Set an 8 x x12 baking pan over a burner and melt the 3 tbsp butter over low heat. Swirl the butter around the pan and slightly up the edges. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes, then let the pan sit for ten minutes before flipping it over onto a cutting board so that the brownie sheet comes out upside down.
Now, for the frosting, I’ll refer you to an excerpt from Black Midnight Cake with Chocolate Buttercream: Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once melted, turn off the stove and stir in the vanilla. Add the sugar half a cup at a time, sprinkling in 1 tbsp of water as needed to facilitate stirring. The finished product should be completely smooth; if you wind up with a greasy, mottled appearance, you just need to add a little more water and beat it vigorously.
Once you’ve finished the frosting, the brownie sheet will be cool enough to proceed. Spread a thick coating of frosting onto the flat surface, pulling all the way to the edges. Don’t worry about frosting the sides, they’ll be trimmed. Let the beast sit where it is for half an hour so that the frosting sets a shell.
With a sharp knife, trim 1/4″ off each side of the slab. Cut the brownies into 2″ squares, set the squares on paper towel to absorb moisture and oil, and seal up what still stands by the end of the day.