Published March 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.
Is the right espresso powder the secret to intense chocolate flavor in brownies and other baked goods?
There’s your average joe, and then there’s espresso. The same gulf separates regular instant coffee from instant espresso, whose more concentrated flavor pumps up chocolate flavor with just a pinch. We tried out three national brands in our Chewy Brownies to see if any delivered a better flavor boost. Each powder performed comparably to produce brownies that tasted deeper, richer, and more complex without imparting an overt coffee taste. That said, all three brands made a below-average hot beverage, so save the jarred granules for baking and brew real espresso for your demitasse.