First celebrated in Milan in 2015, International Coffee Day (October 1) has been a platform for the worldwide appreciation of all things coffee ever since (the United States’ National Coffee Day is September 29--don’t ask me why they’re different!). This year’s Coffee Day aims to raise support for coffee growers, who have faced increasingly low wages and ecological hardship for the past several years.
Ethiopia - The Birthplace of Coffee
Legend has it that in the ninth century a goat herder named Kaldi, deep in the ancient coffee forests of Ethiopia, discovered his goats were unable to sleep at night after eating the berries of a certain bush. He took this discovery to a local monastery where the abbot made a drink with the berries and found it also kept him awake during the long hours of evening prayers.
Word spread across the globe, somebody had the idea to brew the beans, and coffee was born.
Today, Brazil is the biggest exporter of coffee with six times the production of Ethiopia. Surprisingly, the US only ranks 11th in the world for coffee consumption with the Nordic countries taking top spots.
Most of us start the day with a hot strong cup of coffee, whether it be home-brewed, instant, or grabbed from one of the numerous coffee shops on your way to work. But there are many other uses for this little bean.
What could be more delectable than this recipe for home-made coffee and cream brownies? They combine the sweet creamy stickiness of a brownie with a sharp salty hit of coffee. Perfect for enjoying with a steaming mug of coffee in front of the fire.
Coffee and Cream Brownies
3/4 c Flour
1/4 c Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 c Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 c Butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp Instant Coffee Powder
3 T Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 c Butter
1 1/4 c Confectioner's Sugar
1 c Dark Chocolate Chips
2 T Heavy Whipping Cream
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Preheat over to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth, then add the melted butter and stir again. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the large bowl.
Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Mix together the instant coffee and heavy whipping cream for the cream filling and set aside.
Using a stand mixer or a whisk, cream together confectioner's sugar and butter until fluffy, then add the coffee cream mixture and beat until combined. Spread over the cooled brownies.
For the cream ganache: over a low heat, melt the chocolate chips into the 2 T cream, stirring constantly. Once the ganache is homogenous, remove from heat and let stand for several minutes to thicken slightly. Carefully spread the ganache over the cream filling.
Let stand for 30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.
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