If you do much baking with chocolate, you probably know that many recipes call for a small amount of espresso powder. The reason is that a bit of espresso powder significantly enhances the chocolate flavor in cakes, brownies, etc., without causing your treat to have a mocha flavor.
You probably also know that it’s difficult to find espresso powder. If you do find it, be prepared for “sticker shock.” It’s not only expensive, but also comes in much larger quantities than you’ll probably need.
According to the King Arthur site, espresso powder is made from ground, brewed, and dried coffee beans. Therefore, I figured that if I brewed coffee, then I could make espresso powder from the leftover grounds! Seriously? Yes – it worked like a charm! Here’s what I did.
Making the Espresso Powder:
First, I spread the leftover coffee grounds on a baking sheet. Then I put them in my oven set to the lowest temperature possible, which was 170° F. The key here is that I wanted to dry out the grounds, not roast them.
Anyway, I left the coffee grounds in the oven for several hours, until they dried out and felt slightly crunchy. After two hours, the grounds were dried out, but still not crunchy. It took me another 30 minutes before the grounds felt crunchy.
Next, I put the dried out grounds in a coffee grinder, and ground them until I had a fine powder. If I hadn’t had a coffee grinder, I probably could have used a blender, a food processor, or a mortar and pestle.
I ended up with homemade espresso powder that was perfect in my chocolate masterpiece (stay tuned!). Yum!