The famous coffee flavors both the brownies and their ganache topping.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is prized for its bold, clean flavor, but good espresso beans and strong brewed espresso work well, too.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups sugar
15 tablespoons (2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons finely ground Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup pecan pieces
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
6 tablespoons freshly brewed Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
30 thin strips crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch metal pan with nonstick spray. Combine sugar, butter, cocoa, ground coffee, and salt in large metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk until butter melts and ingredients are blended (texture will be grainy). Remove bowl from over water; cool mixture to lukewarm if necessary. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sift flour over and fold in. Mix in pecans.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool brownies in pan.
Place chocolate chips in small bowl. Bring brewed coffee to simmer in small saucepan; pour over chips and stir until melted and smooth. Let ganache stand until cool and beginning to thicken, about 1 hour; spread evenly over brownies. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.) Cut brownies into 15 squares. Top each with 2 ginger strips.
1. Deodorizer. Dry them out on a cookie sheet and then put them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer, or rub them on your hands to get rid of food prep smells.
2. Plant food. Plants such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreen and camellias that prefer acidic soils will appreciate the leftovers from your morning cup. Also, grounds can add nutrients to your compost bin.
3. Insect repellant. Sprinkle old grounds around places you don’t want ants, or on the ant piles themselves. The little buggers will move on or stay away. Used grounds are also said to repel snails and slugs.
4. Dye. By steeping grounds in hot water, you can make brown dye for fabric, paper and even Easter eggs.
5. Furniture scratch cover-up. Steep grounds and apply a bit of the liquid to furniture scratches with a Q-tip.
6. Cleaning product. As they’re slightly abrasive, grounds can be used as a scouring agent for greasy and grimy stain-resistant objects.
7. Kitty repellent. To keep kitty from using the garden as her personal powder room, sprinkle grounds mixed with orange peels around your plants.
8. Boost your carrot harvest. Mixing fresh grounds with the tiny seeds makes them easier to sow and may repel root maggots and other wee beasties.
9. Dust inhibitor. Before you clean out the fireplace, toss wet coffee grounds over the ashes to keep the ash dust under control.
10. Cellulite reducer. I kid you not. We’re supposed to mix 1/4 cup warm, used coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then, while standing over an old towel or newspaper, we’re to apply the mixture to our “problem areas”. Next, wrap the areas with shrink wrap and leave on for several minutes. Unwind the wrap, brush loose grounds off our skin and then shower with warm water. For best results, it is recommended to repeat this procedure twice a week. A little weird to be sure, but as high priced cellulite creams actually have coffee in them, it just might work.
Below is an article that I read from another website, Fast Co. Design. And it begins with…
LIFE’S BEST DESIGNED PRODUCTS ARE SOMETIMES THE ONES WE TAKE FOR GRANTED EACH MORNING.
I used to have a coffee machine from the future. It was silver, naturally.
It could be programmed to burr-grind my beans to various levels of fineness, charcoal-filter tap water, and brew 12 cups of coffee before I woke up. It was an object from a Jetsons kitchen, the realization of an automated, mechanized future that humanity rejected the second microchips came into play.
Today, that machine sits unplugged in my closet. It’s been replaced by a ceramic cone with a paper filter–a pour-over system some might call “third wave coffee” tech, despite the fact that its methodology is over 100 years old.
Coffee itself rose to European prominence in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until 1908, when Melitta Bentz, a housewife from Dresden, apparently became fed up with swigs of bitter grounds. So she ripped a piece of blotting paper from her son’s notebook and punctured a few holes in a brass pot, inventing modern filtered coffee as we know it. She patented the device, and it must have been quite the success, because the Melitta coffee company is still around today, selling pour-over products that work largely the same way as the humble original design.
If Melitta represents the German-engineered approach to pour-over coffee, Hario would represent Japan’s. And it’s Hario’s gooseneck steel kettle(released in 2009), ceramic drippers, and perfectly pressed paper cone filters that have intoxicated me long after the honeymoon period of owning something new. I appreciate their mass-produced craftsmanship on a daily basis. With proper use, they can produce an unparalleled cup of coffee–something sweet, acidic, and nutty all at once–mind-tickling spikes of flavor that my Jetsons machine would steamroll flat.
But if I’m to be perfectly honest, it’s the experience of pour-over that keeps me coming back. The process provides a ritual rich with tactility. Because as cognitively as I might approach the process, measuring my beans, controlling my grind, bringing my water up to just the right temperature, and weighing how much water to add, pour-over requires more than proper titration. Each new cup necessitates just a little bit of skill and a little bit of grace, grounded in a series of meditative gut checks.
First, I want to splash the grounds with just an ounce of almost-boiling water before adding the rest of the cup. It’s a presoaking process that begins a chemical reaction, extracting the water-soluble flavors of coffee. That moment requires dexterity, and if I do it right while working with beans at the peak of freshness, I’ll be rewarded with the bloom–a fizzing blossom of aroma that I follow up moments later with more water, poured in circles to create a vortex within the cone. My wrist needs to remain loose, or I’ll pour too quickly and stiffly, stifling a caffeinated whirlpool into a murky coffee lake. But either way, I know it’s okay. A murky coffee lake produces a perfectly acceptable baseline allowing the more perfect cups to sparkle.
While my steel-chested Jetsons machine provides the homogeny of automation, it conceals the zest of choreographed chemistry–a process in which each bubble, twist, and spritz reminds me that as blurry-eyed as I may be that morning, every inch of the world is surprisingly alive. Sometimes, we both just need proper coaxing.