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Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to set a “parchment sling” – that is, leave some paper hanging over the sides to make it easier to remove your brownies later on. Set the baking pan aside.
Place a medium-sized heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (create a double-boiler) on low heat. Add the butter to the bowl, stirring to melt it.
Add the sugar once the butter has started melting (at least half the butter should be melted). Continue stirring from time to time (over low heat) until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot and shiny. Remove from heat (be sure to do so before the mixture burns).
Stir in the coffee. Then add the cocoa powder, beating it well to ensure it is well mixed (use a hand mixer or else beat vigorously with a wooden spoon/ rubber spatula). Don’t worry about the grainy texture as it will smoothen out in the next few steps!
Let the mixture cool down slightly before whisking in the vanilla extract.
Mix in the eggs, beating vigorously after adding each egg until the batter thickens and looks glossy.
Sift in the flour and salt; then beat vigorously again with the hand-mixer until the batter is transformed even more with a smooth and shiny, well-blended consistency.
Stir in ½ cup of chocolate-chips and nuts (if adding). Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothening out the surface with an offset spatula (or with the back of a metal spoon). Now top off with the remaining chocolate chips/ chocolate squares, pressing them ever so gently into the batter.
Pop the pan in the oven to bake for 18 – 25 minutes or so; oven times will vary from oven to oven – you want to remove the brownies when a toothpick/ knife inserted in the centre emerges a tad moist with fudgy crumbs attached.
Let the brownies cool for 15 – 20 minutes in the pan, before carefully lifting them out and transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Make sure the brownies are at room temperature before slicing. Enjoy!