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Cappuccino brownies and some good books

September 3, 2009

Cappuccino Brownies

I wanted a grown-up brownie to take to book club and this one sounded like it fit the bill, plus it gave me yet another reason to use my cinnamon grinder.  {teehee}  I love that it gives the impression of a cappuccino with the dark base and foamy top sprinkled with cinnamon.  I kind of cheated on the cappuccino part by using instant coffee, but hey ~ no one seemed to mind.  The folks at book club loved them and even took some home afterward, which is saying a lot.  Usually I hear a lot of “Oh no, I couldn’t.” and “Oh, I’m on a new diet.”  I was happy to see that I didn’t need to twist anyone’s arms this time and they all cheerfully grabbed a couple for the road.  I actually liked them even better the next day after the flavors had time to get to know each other a little.  I’ll be making them again, for sure.

And to go along with my book club brownies, I have a couple good reads to share.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is an epistolery novel, which is a fancy way of saying it was written as a series of letters from 15-year-old Charlie to an anonymous person.  This is a young adult book that touches on every possible part of a teenager’s world.  It’s so honest and powerful that it can make you feel a little uncomfortable.  And it’s that honesty and realism that’s gotten this book listed in the top 10 challenged book list of 2008.  It’s also what made for an awesome book club discussion.

Frankly, that whole idea of “banned” or “challenged” books makes me cringe.  Would I want my kid to read this?  If he was in high school, definitely.  I’d want to read it right along with him and hopefully use it as a tool to have some pretty frank discussions.

Another book I just finished is Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I’ve read and enjoyed her fiction books and this one came recommended by another book club member.  It’s taken me quite a while to read because it isn’t one of those books where I just can’t wait to see what happens next, but I’ve liked it and it’s helped me to see the countless merits of eating locally.   I think their family’s experience was educational not just for them, but for anyone who picks up her book.  If you appreciate food ~ real, fresh food ~ then this is one you might like to read too.  There’s also a website for you to check out here.

Speaking of food… I haven’t forgotten the cappuccino brownie recipe.  Here ya go.  Enjoy!

Recipe:  Cappuccino Brownies

(from Bon Appetit)


1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder  (I used instant coffee granules.)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

White Chocolate Ganache:

6 oz. white chocolate, chopped

5 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 8″ baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir butter and chocolate in heavy saucepan over low heat until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time.  Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well.  Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until puffed and tester interted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 35 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Ganache: Place white chocolate in a bowl.  Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pour cream over chocolate and let stand 30 seconds; then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Chill until ganache is thick but still slightlly pourable, about 25 minutes.

Lift brownies out of pan.  Turn over onto clean sheet of waxed or parchment paper; peel off liner.  Pour ganache onto center of brownies; spread to edges.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Chill until ganache is set, at least 2 hours.  Cut and serve.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2009 7:24 am

    Nice touch, serving them in a “cup.” At first I thought it was some sort of cream cheese frosting on top but It’s interesting to see it’s white chocolate. Yum.

  2. September 3, 2009 12:14 pm

    you had me at “white chocolate ganache,” although the innards are pretty spectacular too!

  3. September 3, 2009 3:55 pm

    Looks delicious! I bet all the flavors are great! The white chocolate ganache sounds heavenly.

  4. September 4, 2009 12:56 am

    The brownies look absolutely delicious. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate…but I’m sure it’s wonderful paired with the richness of the brownie.

    I really enjoyed Perks of Being a Wallflower when I read it a few years ago. A definite good read!

  5. September 4, 2009 4:56 am

    Thanks for both the recipe and book reviews.

  6. oneordinaryday permalink
    September 5, 2009 12:16 am

    Irina – The cup was purely for the photo, but I kind of like how it turned out.

    Grace – I wasn’t so sure about the ganache at first, but it won me over. I’m usually a dark chocolate fan.

    Natalie – The flavors all came together to really give you the impression of a cappuccino.

    Laura – Thanks, and I agree about Perks. I really liked it.

    Ingrid – You bet!


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