Made from coffee grounds that have been dried out then blitzed, espresso powder is used to enhance the chocolate flavour in cakes, brownies & cookies. Normally pretty expensive to buy, luckily it’s easy to make. Here’s how…
What Is Espresso Powder & How Is It Used?
Espresso powder is a fine powder that is made from coffee grounds that have been dried in the oven then blitzed in a blender. It’s main use in baking is to enhance the rich, bitter flavour in chocolate recipes (it works especially well with dark chocolate).
As only a small amount tends to be used (we’re talking a teaspoon or less), adding espresso powder to a recipe won’t make it taste like coffee, instead it will enhance the other flavours. Sort of like a seasoning.
Can I Use Instant Coffee Instead?
Instant coffee & espresso powder are two very different things.
Because espresso powder is made from coffee beans that have already been brewed, it wouldn’t taste great if you were to use it as instant coffee. For baking purposes, it can be dissolved in hot liquid but I wouldn’t recommend drinking it!
Instant coffee on the other hand, can definitely be used in baking but as it packs a stronger flavour, only use it if you want to impart a coffee flavour. A chocolate sponge is a good use for instant coffee, for example.
Do I Need An Espresso Machine?
For the best flavour, I’d recommend using coffee grounds from an espresso machine.
When you pull a shot of espresso, water is drawn through the coffee in the portafilter under high pressure, usually lasting between 25 & 30 seconds. This creates compacted discs of grounds with very little moisture left in them. This means that they need less drying time, resulting in a stronger flavour.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use grounds from a different brewing technique. A cafetiere for example. Just keep in mind that the flavour will be good but not as intense.
How To Make Espresso Powder
This can be broken down into 3 steps.
If you drink a lot of coffee, you’ll probably have enough grounds laying around to make a batch of powder. Grounds from 5 or 6 espressos will make enough powder to fill a small jar.
The next step is to break the grounds up into smaller pieces then leave them to dry out in an oven set to it’s lowest temperature. A couple of hours at 90°c or less will do the trick.
The final step is to blitz the dried grounds into a fine powder. Ideally you’d use a spice grinder for this but if you only have a jug blender, like me, then this works just as well.
That’s all there is to it! Once blitzed the espresso powder should be stored in an airtight container or jar to keep it fresh. I like to have a small jar on hand at all times so it can be used whenever I make something chocolatey.
Some Of Our Favourite Uses For Espresso Powder
How To Make Espresso Powder
- 100 g Coffee Grounds
- Preheat your oven to its’ lowest temperature (usually this is between 70°c & 100°c).
- Spread your coffee grounds over a lined baking tray & break them up with your fingers.
- Place the tray into your preheat oven & leave the coffee to dry out , stirring every 30 minutes or so. The coffee should take around 3 hours to dry out completely but keep an eye on them – they should be dry & slightly crunchy.
- Once dry, leave the coffee to cool to room temperature.
- Now, using a jug blender or spice grinder, blitz the coffee to a fine powder.
- Transfer to an airtight jar & use as required.