Iced Espresso Brownies

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  • 7 ounces Swiss dark chocolate, such as Lindt Excellence, coarsely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder, such as Hershey's European Style or Droste
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d'Oro
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Chocolate Kahlua Icing

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 15 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch jellyroll pan with aluminum foil so that the foil extends 2 inches beyond the two short sides of the pan. Fold the overhang underneath the pan. Butter the bottom and sides of the foil-lined pan.
  2. Brownie: In the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring frequently until smooth.
  3. Remove the top part of the double boiler from the bottom. Transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a small bowl; stir in the vanilla extract. Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until tepid.
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt and set aside.
  5. In the 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the wire whip attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until frothy. While continuing to beat, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is pale yellow and forms a thin ribbon when the wire whip is lifted.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until blended. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the side of the bowl.
  7. With a rubber spatula or a large balloon whisk, gently fold the sifted flour mixture into the egg mixture one-third at a time, until just combined.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  9. Bake the brownies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted 2 inches away from the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not over-bake the brownies.
  10. Cool the brownies in the pan set on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  11. Invert the brownies onto a cutting board lined with parchment paper.
  12. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the foil.
  13. Place the cutting board in the freezer and freeze the brownies for 45 minutes.
  14. Chocolate Kahlua Icing: Melt the chocolates. Transfer the melted chocolate to a large bowl and set aside.
  15. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the Kahlua and vanilla extract.
  16. Sift the confectioners' sugar over the mixture; using a wire whisk, blend in the sugar until smooth.
  17. Stir the cream mixture into the chocolate mixture, whisking until the mixture is homogeneous.
  18. Cover the surface of the Chocolate Kahlua Icing with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.
  19. Remove the cutting board from the freezer. Place the confectioners' sugar in a tall plastic container. Dip various shaped jelly cutters into the confectioners' sugar, coating the entire inside of the cutter; tap out the excess on the insides of the container. Cut out 45 pairs of espresso brownies, dipping and tapping before each cut. If the design points of the cutters become clogged with brownie, use a wooden pick to dislodge. Discard or snack on the brownie trimmings.
  20. Stack each pair of brownies crust-side-down.
  21. Remove one heaping tablespoon of the chocolate Kahlua icing and place it in a small cup. Using a small artist's paintbrush, spread some of the icing, acting as glue, between the pairs, so that they stick together, to form two layers.
  22. Arrange the stacked brownies on a wire rack and place the rack in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  23. Remove the wire rack from the freezer. Set the wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the excess icing.
  24. Using a small ladle, ladle the icing over the top of each brownie, and using a small metal offset spatula, smooth the icing around the sides.
  25. Put the wire rack with the iced espresso brownies in the freezer and freeze for 45 minutes, or until the icing is set.
  26. Decorate the tops of the iced espresso brownies with melted white chocolate, raspberries or decors, if desired.
  27. Store the iced espresso brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.