Showing posts with label brownie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brownie. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to make a Chocolate-Espresso Brownie Affogato and Happy Book News from Cleo Coyle

In Italian, affogato means drowned. 

In a cafe, an affogato is a that coffee-lovers wouldn't mind drowning in!

If you order an affogato, a small bowl (or cup) of gelato or ice cream will be brought to you with a shot of fresh espresso beside it. 

To complete the affogato, you simply pour the hot espresso over the ice cream, drowning it in the earthy warmth of the coffee. This combination of sweet cream and dark heat is the heart of the dessert's appeal (at least to coffee-lovers...and Italians :)).

What I described is a basic affogato, but there are more elaborate variations. 

For example, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis once made a gingerbread affogato. She infused a simple syrup with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; and then poured the syrup over the ice cream with the espresso.

More common variations include a shot of liqueur served beside the shot of espresso (such as amaretto or Frangelico). Today, I'm sharing my "Coffeehouse" version, served over a base of warm-from-the-oven Chocolate-Espresso Brownies.

I'm also celebrating some happy news about my newly released Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill. More on that news at the end of this post. 

First, let's get cooking! 

~ Cleo 

Cleo Coyle, a former Brownie
(and Girl Scout), is author
author of The Coffeehouse
Cleo's Coffeehouse
Espresso Brownie Affogato

Warm brownies out of the oven are a little piece of heaven. Over the years, I've baked up plenty of pans from scratch and shared recipes with you. For example:

Aphrodisiac Brownies, from Murder by Mocha, (click here to see that recipe) and... 

Black Bean Brownies from A Brew to a Kill (click here to see that one).

Today, I'm sharing a quick-and-easy espresso brownie that you can whip up with a boxed mix. Why a mix? For those of you who don't bake much, this is an easy and foolproof way to bake a pan of brownies. Where did the recipe come from? Twenty years ago, brownie mixes had one flavor: chocolate. Being a coffee geek, I threw together this recipe, which infuses the earthy flavor of my favorite bean into the crumb. 

This recipe is adaptable to practically any boxed brownie mix. While you can now buy mocha brownie mixes, I find adding these fresh ingredients to a basic chocolate fudge mix produces better tasting espresso brownies. So give it a try and (as always) I sincerely hope you with joy! ~ Cleo 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.


1 Box of Chocolate Brownie Mix (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)

1/4 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder (*see my note at end of recipe)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

TO MAKE THE BROWNIES: Pour the dry brownie mix into a large bowl. Do not add water as directed on the package. Instead, pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into a cup and dissolve the espresso powder into it. Add the vanilla and pour this mixture into the large bowl with the dry brownie mix. The brownie mix directions will likely ask you to add 2 or 3 eggs (2 for fudge-like brownies, 3 for cake-like). Make your choice and add the eggs. Add the oil required (usually 1/2 cup). Stir as directed, 50 strokes, do not over-mix but be sure to scrape down the bowl and blend in any visible dry mix into the wet batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and (if you like) chopped nuts. Pour into a pan that's been lightly coated with non-stick spray or greased with butter. Bake as directed on the package and cut into squares. 

*A note on espresso powder: Espresso powder is not ground up espresso beans. It is made from freeze-dried espresso. It dissolves in water to create instant espresso. While I don't recommend drinking espresso made from freeze-dried powder, I highly recommend using good quality espresso powder (rather than freeze-dried instant coffee) to add coffee flavor to your baking and cooking. Look for espresso powder in the instant coffee section of your grocery store. Or click here to see brands that you can purchase online.

TO MAKE THE AFFOGATO: Place two warm brownies in a small bowl or one brownie in a coffee cup. Add a scoop of ice cream or gelato. Serve this with a shot of hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee. One shot = 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of liquid (or 2 to 3 tablespoons). The general rule for an affogato is one shot of coffee per scoop of ice cream. To finish, pour the hot coffee over the cold ice cream and warm brownie and...

Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

Sweet News!

After a year on sale in
hardcover and e-book,
 A Brew to a Kill
is now an official
bestseller in paperback!

"A foodie's delight...And a
satisfyingly rich mystery."
~ Kirkus Reviews

A Brew to a Kill
#3 bestseller
in paperback mysteries
at B&N nationwide!

We also made B&N's Top-20*
(in store) bestsellers list for all
mass market paperbacks sold,

 *B&N Store Bestselllers
Aug. 20, 2013

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Almond Brownies Recipe

Our cookie contest is on!!!!  What beautiful cookies (including bars) coming our way...and therefore your way.

And I am having so much fun.

Denise Zaky offered this recipe, which she found from King Arthur Flour, but she amended it, so we’re using the recipe that she provided. King Arthur Flour asked for candied cherries and their flour, of course. Denise amended to suit her cupboard’s needs – as I would have done.

Now many of you know that I need to eat gluten-free, so I made two batches of these. One with all of Denise’s ingredients and one gluten-free. 

{And one more, which I’ll explain at the end of this post.} My taste-testers were over on Thanksgiving and loved the brownies!!!  All of them. What was interesting is they couldn’t taste the difference between my first batch of brownies, GF or regular. Ha!  But again…read on for the “rest of the real” story.

Cranberry Almond Brownies from Denise Zaky


           1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

·         1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (brandy or apple juice)

·         3/4 cup semisweet chocolates

·         1/2 cup butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 large eggs

·         3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour  [**NOTE: for gluten-free, use ¾ cup sweet rice or rice flour and 1 teaspoon Xantham gum]

·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/2 cup diced almonds

·         1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolates

            If you want to have chocolate for coating these delicious morsels, you’ll need one more cup of Semisweet Chocolate and 2 tablespoons water or milk.  (*see note below)


1) Place dried chopped cranberries in a microwave-safe container,  
sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Amaretto and cover. Microwave for 45  
seconds. Set aside to soften and cool. (Note, I forgot to chop these. But they were fine because they’re small.)
Gluten-free 9" round

Regular mix 8x11" rectangle
2) Melt together the semisweet chocolate and butter over low heat, or in the microwave. {If you do in the microwave, which I did, only go on medium high for 15-20 seconds at a time so they don’t overcook.) Stir in the sugar and salt. Whisk well. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. [Okay BIG NOTE -- the rest of the real story – I forgot on the first batches to add the sugar and they turned out great, so I think that’s because the original recipe called for unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Since Denise had called for semisweet chocolates, the sugar was already in the mix, so to speak. When I remade the brownies using the sugar, they were a tad too sweet, but I think they both worked. It just depends on what mood you are in, don’t you think?]

3) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" x 8" square pan or  
9" round pan.  [I used an 8 x 11 rectangle for the regular brownies and an 9" round for the GF to make sure I didn't get them mixed up.]

4) Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Stir in  
the flour (or gluten-free flour and Xanthan gum) and baking powder, then the soaked cranberries and extra semisweet chocolates.

5) Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30  
minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting.

6) To dip brownies in coating chocolate: Cut brownies into 1 and 1/4" squares,  
patting crumbs into sides of brownies. Wrap and place in the freezer.  [Note: I did not put them in the freezer. Once cool, they were fine to dip. But you could freeze. I’ve got extras in there right now. Yum!]

All the brownies looked like this without chocolate! Light and fluffy.
7) Melt the 1 cup of semisweet chocolates and water or milk.  Melt coating chocolate by microwaving it in 15-second  bursts, and stirring between bursts until most of it is melted. To  make a dark, shiny glaze, mix ½ cup + 1 tablespoon hot milk with the  melted coating chocolate. Stir vigorously, until the grainy mess  smoothes itself into a dark, shiny glaze. The glaze will be firm but  not hard, like the chocolate glaze on your favorite snack cakes.

8) Using a chocolate dipping fork [I used wooden skewers], skewer a brownie and plop the brownie into the glaze, and  pull it out. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the dipping bowl to remove excess coating.  Place on parchment to set.  [Note: I used a long barbecue-style toothpick; I could have used a fondue fork, I imagine]  **Also, I had two separate bowls to do the dipping between regular brownies and gluten-free brownies.

Yield: Denise said 3 dozen dipped brownies but I only got 16 brownies from 8 x 11 pan. I think perhaps mine were cut too big? Whatever...delicious!!!! And so pretty and glossy.

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CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, coming out February 2012.

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