And the saying holds true! As with most things in life, you really don’t know what you cherish until it’s no longer an option anymore.
This past week, I almost lost all of my blog content permanently. Yes, I learned a few things in the process, i.e. backup plugins (although I’m still figuring out how to use that), I was so overwhelmed at the idea of losing all of the work that I’ve poured into this blog. It’s been a work in progress since 2009, and so much of my heart is in these posts. I was surprised at how emotional the fact that all of these words were gone made me. They have helped me relive trips and celebrations, remember recipes for dinner parties, work through relationships, and literally been the venting spot during some very tough times. I know I’m not always faithful about posting, but you usually know something might be going on in my life when I do post (introvert problems!).
Thankfully, with some help from a good friend (Hi Kristen), and a multi-hour chat support, it’s all sorted out, and the blog and my handful of readers will keep getting to hear from me. More importantly, the words that have narrated my last 7 years won’t be lost.
And let’s be honest, you know you would have hated missing out on new recipes, and a new cookbook recommendation for perfect recipes. I just recently discovered Food52. They have an amazing website, with recipes that are amazing yet doable. I received the “Baking” cookbook as a birthday gift back in January, and have been working my way through it. I haven’t had a bad recipe yet, it’s just so amazing. More importantly, the pictures are styled beautifully, making you want to make every. single. recipe! This was one of the first recipes I made from the book, and so far one of my favorites.
These Magic Espresso Brownies should probably actually be called Magic Espresso Cake, but it doesn’t make them any less good, you just have to change your expectations a little. My recommendation is to make them and if you can stand it, put them in the refrigerator and let them chill. It will make all the difference in the world, and you’ll want to eat the frosting just by itself!
Oh, and DO NOT skip the cognac. I know it seems like one of those easy to skip ingredients, and sure, you could, but you’d have no idea what you’re missing.
- For the Brownies:
- 3 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons brewed and cooled espresso or instant espresso powder
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- For the Frosting:
- 1 1/4 cups superfine (baker's) sugar
- 2 tablespoons brewed and cooled espresso or instant powder
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Cognac (Courvoisier recommended)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Butter a 13- by 18-inch half-sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
- Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, mix the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix in the vanilla, espresso, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, and cocoa powder. Pour into the sugar mixture and mix on low speed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven's temperature. The batter will still be soft and still a bit cakey in the middle of the pan, but should be clean on a toothpick. Allow the brownies to cool thoroughly before frosting.
- For the Frosting: Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, then allow to boil 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, add the chocolate chips, and stir until smooth. Pour the frosting evenly over the cooled brownies. Place the frosted brownies in the fridge to allow the frosting to set and the brownies to harden a bit. When the frosting has set, cut brownies into squares. Store the brownies in the refrigerator, separating the layers with parchment paper, for up to 1 week.