I want to talk about coffee today. Coffee is important to me on weekend mornings. Me, my computer and my coffee.
Coffee is a touchy subject. People are funny about their coffee. I’m no exception. We all like it a specific way.
I’m a bit of a coffee snob. Not a complete coffee snob. I just like things a certain way. I like a certain quality of coffee – it has to be rich, smooth and full flavour. I will tolerate coffee shop coffee but only when that is all that is available. As a last resort. If there is nothing else. In Canada we have Tim Horton’s. On every other corner… at every highway stop…most small towns have more than one. This is a bit sacrilegious; I risk offending 80% of Canada once I say this. Tim’s is Canada’s coffee after all. But I don’t like Tim Horton’s coffee.
Sure I’ll drink it. When a girl needs a coffee, a girl needs a coffee. But rarely do I get that “mmm…. coffee” feeling. I find it watery and tasteless; acidic. Hot and fresh yes. But not worth the trouble of leaving the house in the morning just for a coffee. It seems some people just like their coffee hot. I’m convinced some don’t really like coffee at all. Double, double – really? How can you taste the coffee with all that cream and sugar in it?
I’ll do Starbucks – a Starbucks Americano makes me happy.
But mostly I prefer to make my own. We own a Tassimo machine. I find it makes far better coffee then the Keurig. (This is also controversial, I realize. Coffee drinkers are so complicated & opinionated.) I use the Tassimo most weekday mornings for a cup or two. It’s always fresh and the bold and dark roast varieties taste good. Weekdays are busy and this gets me through.
Still, by far, the best coffee comes from freshly ground and properly brewed. The best coffee of the week happens on Saturday morning (or Sunday morning during hockey season). It’s my “day-off-coffee.”
I love my coffee scoop. It measures 2 level tablespoons. One scoop per cup of cold water. Really – “That much?”
Yep – that much. My simple rule is the more actual coffee in my coffee the better. Please don’t make me grumpy. Don’t hand me a coffee with no coffee in it. Just ask my husband, he has spent more than one vacation morning , disregarding schedules and plans, driving long and far, searching for a proper coffee for his dear wife.
So when Puro Coffee contacted me and asked me to try some of their coffees I was interested but skeptical. I loved the idea of their coffee – free-trade, shade-grown and organic. But admittedly I made the assumption that it would just not live up to my standards. Would it be fresh? Rich? Flavourful?
It was! They sent me 3 varieties of coffee and I have been sampling over the last several weeks. Each variety has its own unique flavour. This in and of itself surprised me. Obviously care has been taken to select and roast each bean in a way that brings out the best characteristics. My favourite was the Organic. No bitterness, sweet, rich and just really good. So good that I’ll be keeping some in my weekend coffee cupboard next to my special coffee scoop.
I never make a half pot of coffee on the weekends. I think, and it could be just me, but I’m convinced that the flavour is just not the same. Not enough beans and not enough time. I believe. So I always make a full pot and sometimes I have leftovers.
So I made these brownies with coffee. Because when I have a good piece of chocolate, there is nothing more in the world that I really need other than a good cup of coffee to go with it. Have you ever been to a banquet or a wedding and they serve dessert and then make you wait an hour before they get around to bringing the coffee? And then it’s not very good coffee. Drive’s me mad.
The solution are these decadent mocha brownies. These brownies are rich and dense and full of coffee flavour. Cake and pastry flour will give you a lighter brownie, if you choose to go that way. I added a tiny bit of sea salt on top mostly because I thought it would look nice but it really made the richness pop. These brownies are intense with coffee flavour. Use a good bitter-sweet, dark chocolate to complement to this rich and sweet coffee.
- 1 cup all purpose (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocao
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter (I used salted)
- 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped, or chips
- 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8 inch square baking tin with parchment paper. A little cooking spray will help the paper stick to the pan so it doesn't move so much when you pour in the batter.
- In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa and salt.
- In a medium microwave safe glass bowl, add butter, dark chocolate and coffee. Microwave 15 seconds at a time, whisking in between, until butter and chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar, vanilla, and eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Add chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and using a spatula, gently fold until well combined and gooey. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared pan.
- Cook at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center of pan almost clean.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with sel de fleur immediately, if you wish. Cool only slightly. Brownies are best served warm. Perhaps with ice cream.