The Unusual Ingredient Ina Garten Adds To Her Brownies

Want to learn how to level up your brownies Barefoot Contessa-style? Ina Garten's "Outrageous Brownies" recipe calls for a surprising ingredient sure to give your brownies that extra rich flavor. 

"Because chocolate is really enhanced by the flavor of coffee, I put in three tablespoons of coffee granules," Garten explains in Food Network's recipe video on YouTube. "Not prepared coffee, but instant coffee granules." 

The other ingredients are all pretty standard brownie fare: butter, semisweet chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and optional walnuts. It's the coffee that sets Garten's recipe apart from others, making it, according to Garten, "The most popular thing I've ever made at Barefoot Contessa." She adds, "We sell like a thousand of them a week." 

So don't settle for baked goods that aren't as good as they could be — take your brownie-making skills from good to great with just a few tablespoons of instant coffee. 

Ina Garten's tried-and-true brownies

Not sure if adding coffee to brownies is for you? 

"I've been making these for roughly 10 years. My whole family loves them," one Food Network fan attested. "Only recipe we will use." "Extravagantly moist and chocolaty!!" agreed another. "Best brownie recipe I have ever tried!"  It's not just home bakers who love the flavor either — food experts agree. 

"I have made this brownie recipe countless times and they are, without a doubt, the absolute best brownie recipe known to man," the Martha Stewart-affiliated cooking and baking blog Crepes of Wrath gushed. "...They are so rich, so chocolatey, and honestly, so damn perfect, that there isn't much more you can add to them to make them better."

In a Delish taste test between Garten's recipe and Nigella Lawson's, Garten's came out on top. The verdict stated that Garten's Outrageous Brownies "are true to their name and are absolutely insane."

"They were super rich and fudge-like, with contrasting textures from the nuts and chocolate chips," adds a review from culinary e-magazine Kitchn. I couldn't pick out the instant coffee flavor, but I could tell that the chocolate tasted more intense compared to the other brownies I tested."

So, for ultra-rich, chocolaty brownies, you're going to want to add that instant coffee.