Espresso-Sour Cream Brownies
24 to 32 brownies
The line between brownies and cake becomes a bit blurred with these,
which are cake-style brownies. As happens sometimes, I had never
had any of this type of brownie that I liked before I developed
my own; they were always too dry and wimpy in the chocolate department.
These have plenty of chocolate flavor and some sour cream to help
keep them moist; there's even some instant espresso powder thrown
in for an extra depth of taste. Because these are deeply-flavored
and not too sweet, they'd probably be more appreciated by adults.
tried these with both regular unsweetened cocoa powder and Dutch
process unsweetened cocoa powder. Both work in this recipe, but
the Dutch process cocoa turns out brownies so superior in color
and flavor that it is all I'll use. The (optional) frosting does
not freeze, though the brownies themselves will. (If you don't want
to frost the brownies, you can sift a bit of confectioners' sugar
over the top of the cut portions just before serving, or serve them
with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt.) The brownies and frosting
are easy to make, and the frosted panful will sit happily in the
fridge for up to five or six days, if tightly covered. Serve these
with plates and forks, or just let people eat them out of hand.
cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, sliced
cup dairy sour cream
cup all-purpose flour
cup unsweetened, Dutch process cocoa powder
tsp. baking soda
eggs, graded "large"
cups granulated sugar
tsp. instant espresso powder
ounces cream cheese, softened
Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
cups sifted confectioners' sugar
garnish: Shaved or grated semisweet chocolate)
Line a 13 by 9 inch pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with heavy-duty
aluminum foil, shiny side up. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat
oven to 350 degrees F. In small, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt
butter, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside to cool slightly.
Measure sour cream and allow to stand at room temperature.
medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set
large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, instant espresso powder, and vanilla.
By hand, beat until well-mixed, about 1 minute. Add melted butter,
which may still be slightly warm, and beat in. Stir in about half
of sifted dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in sour cream
just until combined. With rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides
of bowl; add remaining sifted dry ingredients and blend just until
batter into prepared pan. Spread level, then run batter slightly
higher in corners and along edges with back of spoon.
in preheated oven 22 to 25 minutes, turning from back to front about
halfway during baking. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted
near center emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Do not overbake! Allow to cool completely on rack before frosting,
frosted, store brownies in refrigerator, tightly covered, for up
to six days. Allow cut portions to come to room temperature, loosely
covered, before serving.
In medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese and softened butter.
With sturdy, hand-held mixer, beat at a low speed until well-mixed
and smooth. Gradually add sifted confectioners' sugar, beating at
medium speed only until incorporated after each addition. Do not
overbeat. Add vanilla after about half of confectioners' sugar has
been added. Scrape bowl and beater(s) frequently with rubber spatula
during mixing. This will be a soft frosting. Spread over entire
top surface of cooled brownies. If desired, garnish with shaved
or grated semisweet chocolate.
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