Nutella Espresso Mousse Brownies
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! If today’s holiday is something you normally celebrate, I’m guessing you already know exactly what you’re doing. However, if today is just another day to you, I encourage you to make it special with this dessert. Eric and I aren’t the types to go overboard for Valentine’s, but we’ll take any excuse to make a fancier meal than usual (we’re making these filets for dinner tonight). The same goes for desserts. Fancier doesn’t have to mean more difficult, though, and these brownies are a prime example of that. This recipe fits perfectly into what I like to call The Champion Factor – impressive outcome, minimal effort. Don’t get me wrong – I love spending time in the kitchen with a complicated recipe. It’s just that, sometimes, it’s nice to have something so simple that still turns out so stunning. Know what I mean? That being said – I’m not a fan of boxed mixes, especially when I know I can make from-scratch desserts that are as easy and crave-worthy as this one.
Someone was trying to sneak a bite!
These brownies are like a simple version of my favorite dessert ever, triple chocolate mousse cake. A rich brownie layer is topped with a light and fluffy Nutella espresso mousse, making for one seriously decadent dessert. To take it completely over the top, I covered the whole thing in homemade chocolate curls. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, and I’ll take any excuse to add more chocolate to an already chocolaty dessert. Case in point – this recipe originally called for an espresso mousse, but I couldn’t resist incorporating this Nutella mousse I made last Valentine’s Day. This indulgent dessert is sure to please whoever you’re making it for, but I won’t judge you if you decide to keep it all to yourself.
- COOK TIME:
For the brownie layer:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
For the mousse layer:
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1 tablespoon hot water
¼ cup Nutella
Splash of Kahlua (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate curls or sprinkles and/or freshly whipped cream, for topping
Heat oven to 350º. Butter the bottom of 8-inch square baking dish and line with parchment or foil, leaving several inches overhang on two sides. Butter the bottom and sides of the parchment or foil and set pan aside.
Melt the butter in a large bowl. Whisk in the espresso powder until it dissolves completely, then whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely before topping with the mousse.
To make the mousse, combine the espresso and hot water in a small bowl. Whisk in Nutella and Kahlua if using. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until it just forms stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Nutella mixture. Scrape the mousse onto the top of the cooled brownies and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
Using the parchment/foil handles, lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into squares and top as desired. Serve immediately.