Giada De Laurentiis Just Put a Caffeinated Twist on Brownies & We'd Eat the Glaze With a Spoon

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They say that the sweet doesn’t taste so sweet without the sour, and that’s true. But we’d also say that the chocolate doesn’t taste so chocolatey without the espresso. It turns out that espresso is the secret ingredient in a lot of chocolate baked goods, from Ina Garten’s delicious and chocolatey make-ahead cake to her chocolate peanut cookies. Garten says that espresso powder “really brings out the chocolate.” So it makes sense that these new brownies from Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada’s Italy, taste even more chocolatey than you might expect, thanks to espresso powder in the batter and in the luscious glaze on top.

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If you’re a fan of rich, indulgent chocolate desserts, then Giada De Laurentiis’ espresso brownies are bound to delight. The brownies themselves are deeply chocolately. They’re made with a full cup of cocoa powder (we like to buy Fair Trade cocoa) and a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. Then, two tablespoons of espresso powder are added, which makes the earthy, deep notes of the cocoa powder sing.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.
Clarkson Potter.

The thick, glossy batter looks almost good enough to eat on its own, but it gets popped into the oven. While it bakes, there’s time to make the espresso glaze. You might be tempted to swap your morning latte for a spoonful of this icing, but save it for the brownies! The glaze is made with espresso powder, vanilla, powdered sugar, and butter. It’s poured over the brownies, and sets up in an even, shiny layer in the fridge.


The visual contrast between the toasted coffee-colored glaze and the rich hue of the brownies immediately draws the eyes. If you’re a fan of mochas, you’ll definitely go wild for these brownies. They’re very rich, so De Laurentiis likes to slice them into bite-sized squares. They’re like little espresso glazed brownie truffles!

King Arthur Baking Company.

And can you imagine how a brownie sundae would taste with these as the base? It would be like a riff on De Laurentiis’ favorite affogato. If you love chocolate, then you’ll love these espresso brownies, which taste somehow even more chocolatey thanks to the coffee.

Before you go, check out the gallery below:

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