These deliciously fudgy Coffee Brownies are rich with coffee and real dark chocolate. They are also infused with a wonderful nutty texture and flavour from the addition of ground toasted walnuts. Make with gluten free or wheat flour. Can also be made dairy free.
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Coffee Brownies for Coffee Lovers
These Coffee Brownies are the stuff of dreams for coffee lovers… And (it goes without saying) for chocolate lovers. They are made with a goodly amount of real dark chocolate that characterises a good brownie. But they are also intense and deep with the characteristic slightly bitter richness of a good early morning Espresso.
If you love a coffee, these are the brownies to take your happiness to another level.
Happy Brownies : Coffee & Chocolate… the Feel-Good Combo
I am serious! Coffee and chocolate may just be the perfect ‘feel good’ combo. There may even be scientific evidence to suggest these brownies will bring a smile to your face.
Why? Well, for years scientists have known that coffee helps stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. And dopamine is known to produce euphoria… which means ‘happy’…
But coffee may be even better. According to a wealth of articles (This Huff Post Article includes a number of research links and the article in Healthline adds more support), coffee not only makes you happy, but can support anything from liver and brain health to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and even (in women) the risk of skin cancer. Too good to be true? Let’s hope not.
So what about chocolate? Well… Whilst there is some evidence that the flavanols in dark chocolate can support heart health, we know that the amount of flavanols needed is unlikely to be provided by most chocolate and that the chocolate needs to be very dark. But we do know that chocolate can make us happy. By releasing dopamine and boosting endorphin levels, chocolate can actually diminish stress. Although the rule ‘the darker the chocolate the better’ still applies, chocolate can still support good mood purely from the pleasure of eating it.
Of course I am in no way suggesting that these brownies are healthy. But when it comes to our well-being, happiness has to be up there… doesn’t it?
What goes into Coffee Brownies?
Okay. I know I’m stating the obvious, but chocolate matters! Not only for the ‘happy’ effect, but for sheer pleasure and flavour. When making brownies, use good quality dark chocolate. The darker the better. And of course, if you have any intolerance to dairy, make doubly sure you use chocolate that is certified dairy free.
When making coffee brownies (or coffee and walnut brownies, or even mocha brownies), pick your coffee wisely. You are not adding coffee that has been brewed into liquid for this recipe. So it is essential that you use coffee of an instant variety and preferably in powder form. This will make it quicker to dissolve so that it infuses with the mixture evenly.
For the best intensity and most robust coffee hit, I use instant espresso powder. Always. Specifically, I use Nescafe Azera Instant Coffee Powder. It’s perfect for baking.
Butter & Sugar
Most bakes contain butter and sugar. The butter is straight forward. Pick what you like and if you need to go dairy free, choose an alternative that is as creamy as you can find.
But not all sugars are equal. Many popular brownie recipes on the internet use bog-standard caster sugar. That’s great and works well, but if you want an adult brownie, try going less refined. That sounds like a contradiction. What I mean is… using brown sugar, golden caster sugar or a combination of the two, will add a caramelly sweetness. And let’s face it, coffee brownies should definitely be adult.
For the best caramel depth, you could also try using coconut sugar in combination with soft light brown sugar as with these amazingly fudgy Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Brownies. Boy were they good!
Eggs – Hen, Duck or even a Goose Egg!
What laid your eggs really doesn’t matter (although I think ostrich would be taking it a bit far). But from around March in the UK, you can get hold of the most incredible goose eggs from farm, shops, markets and independent egg suppliers. I absolutely LOVE goose eggs. They are rich and thick and have the most incredible yolks. Duck eggs, while smaller, also share similar delicious qualities.
I am also lucky enough to have my eggs delivered by a friend who’s parents have a free range egg farm and who always tells me when the geese are laying.
For this particular batch of coffee brownies I used a medium to large goose egg (which was just over 200g shelled weight). That one egg though, was equivalent to a full 3 large hens eggs. Go larger with your goose egg and it can be 4 to 5 times the equivalent of hens.
Of course, if you can’t find goose eggs, then just use normal hen eggs. For preference, large eggs will give you the liquid quantity you need. But if you only have medium or smaller eggs, the recipe details liquid weight to make it easy to get right.
When baking gluten free, the flour you use can make the difference between success and failure. Except perhaps for brownies, which seem to be versatile with their tolerance of variation.
These Coffee Brownies have been made using Gluten Free Alchemist flour blend A… which is a simple white home blend that I use for cakes and many other bakes. However, the recipe will also work with other gluten free flour blends, such as Doves Farm Freee blend.
If you are not gluten free, no worries. The recipe should also work with bog-standard plain wheat flour too.
If you are making coffee and walnut brownies, you want them to taste of walnuts as much as coffee and chocolate. The walnuts should add not only texture, but a wonderful complimentary bitter-sweet earthiness to the brownie. But as with my popular Coffee and Walnut Cake, it’s definitely worth toasting the walnuts before grinding them for the bake. Toasting simply intensifies the nuttiness to make absolutely sure they shine through.
Can I make Coffee Brownies without the Walnuts?
If you don’t like, can’t eat, or simply don’t have walnuts, then absolutely yes, you can make Coffee Brownies without them. Simply remove the nuts from the ingredients list and add an extra 20g dark chocolate. Done.
How will I know when my Coffee Brownies are Baked?
How do I know when my brownies are baked is an age-old baking question. And the answer is not really that straight forward. With brownies, cooking times are approximate and dependent on how you like your brownies!
If you like them soft and gooey, so that they are almost dripping from the spoon, then you are aiming for a shorter cooking time. Prefer then firmer and dryer? Then give them an extra 5 to 10 minutes, being careful to grab them before they burn.
I like coffee brownies that are somewhere in the middle of the brownie texture continuum. So when they are just firm to touch in the middle is when they come out of the oven. And that is where the instructions for this recipe are pitched.
What do I need to make Coffee Brownies?
Apart from the basic ingredients, brownies require little special equipment.
As with any baking, it always helps to have a good set of kitchen scales for accuracy. I use Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform Scales, because they allow me to weigh small amounts on a micro scale, providing complete versatility.
These Coffee Brownies use an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking tin. I use this MasterClass Non-Stick pan because it also has a good depth, making it perfect for brownies of substance.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learnt, it’s use good quality baking parchment. There is nothing more frustrating than putting all that hard work in, only to find your cake stuck to the paper. I have used Lakeland Baking Parchment for years… It has never let me down yet.
And I know I’ve said it before, but I still LOVE my Joseph Joseph nest of bowls. If you use a lot of eggs, the stainless steel egg cracker on the side is genius.
Lastly, make sure you have a good set of pyrex bowls. Why Pyrex? Because if you are heating ingredients, it is essential that your bowl is not only heat proof, but doesn’t shatter. This set of three pyrex bowls is perfect for all your baking needs.
Let me know if you make my Brownies
I hope you love my Coffee Brownie recipe (with or without walnuts). I LOVE hearing about your kitchen creations, so if you make it (or any other recipes from Gluten Free Alchemist), please let me know. Take a photo and tag me on social media! Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are my favourite social haunts…
Coffee not doing it for you? Other Brownie Recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
- My Beetroot Brownies are really popular
- These Chocolate-Banana-Coconut Brownies are truly delicious
- One of my favourite fruity ones… The Perfectly Gooey Chocolate-Cherry-Pecan Brownie
- For the orange lovers amongst you, my easy Chocolate Orange Brownies are dark and dangerous.
- Prefer a peanut-chocolate combo? Try Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
- The gooeyist, chewy Gooey Chocolate Brownies
- Or these Mint Chocolate Brownies which use After Eight Mints
- Using fresh pears in Brownies was a revelation. Try my Autumn Windfall Pear and Walnut Brownies
- These Toblerone Brownies were genius. One of my favourites… Cut them into triangles!
- Prefer a Blondie? We even have some amazing Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies on offer.
- We also have lots of other ideas for Tray Bakes, Brownies and Blondies on our dedicated index page.
Coffee Brownies with Walnut – Gluten Free (optional dairy free; optional wheat flour)
- Kitchen scales
- Baking tray
- grinder/blender/bag and rolling pin
- 8 inch (20 cm) square, loose-bottomed, non-stick baking tin
- baking paper
- measuring spoons
- heatproof (pyrex) bowl
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- large mixing bowl
- electric whisk
- 280 g good quality dark chocolate chopped
- 150 g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ to 3 tsp INSTANT espresso powder
- 3 large eggs (UK large) or one medium GOOSE EGG see weight NOTES
- 70 g golden caster sugar
- 70 g soft light brown sugar
- 65 g walnut pieces toasted & ground : or see no-nut NOTES below.
- 130 g plain white flour (gluten free or wheat) eg. Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A – see NOTES
- 16 walnut halves – NOT toasted to decorate
Toast and grind the walnuts
- Toast the walnuts ahead of time. You can make the brownie without toasting them, but you will get a richer, nuttier flavour if they are toasted before grinding.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4
- Weigh the walnut pieces for the brownie mix and place on a baking tray.
- Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, turning a couple of times during toasting to make sure they don't burn.
- Once toasted, remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Once cool, coarsely grind the walnuts to be used in the brownie mix using a grinder/blender. Be careful not to over-grind or you will end up with a paste. If you don't have a grinder, place the walnuts into a strong food bag and bash with a rolling pin until 'ground'.
- Base-line an 8 inch (20 cm) square, loose-bottomed, non-stick baking tin with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Place the chocolate and butter into a heat-proof glass bowl. Using either a microwave (medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring between each) or setting the bowl over a saucepan of lightly simmering water, slowly melt and stir together the chocolate and butter until smooth and liquid.
- Once melted and smooth, add the vanilla extract and espresso powder and stir thoroughly. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugars together until well-blended and airy.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until blended.
- Add the ground walnuts and flour and fold through with a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula until combined. The mixture should be a thick dropping consistency (if it feels too thick, add a splash of milk and fold through).
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until just firm to the touch in the centre.
- NOTE : After about 15 minutes (whilst the brownie mixture is still soft), open the oven and pull out the part-cooked bake. Being careful not to burn yourself, gently push the raw decorative walnut halves into the surface in rows of 4, and return to the oven to finish cooking.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before slicing. It may help to refrigerate before slicing to make the cutting easier, and then bring back to room temperature.
Coffee Brownies with Walnut shared with :
- Full Plate Thursday #480 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- What’s for Dinner #248 with The Lazy Gastronome
- Over The Moon #220 with Marilyn’s Treats and Eclectic Red Barn
- Creative Muster #380 with Fluster Buster and Adoring Creations
- Cook Blog Share with Lost in Food
- Fiesta Friday #324 with Angie, Of Goats & Greens and Spades, Spatulas & Spoons