Boxed brownie mixes got nothing on these Flourless Mocha Brownies. Chock full of real chocolate and hints of coffee, these are the most decadent fudgy brownies you’ll ever need. They’re the naturally gluten-free and paleo stuff of every serious chocolate lover’s dreams.
Many (many) bars of chocolate have gone into the making of these brownies. Like my roommate said, at least I’m finally making a dent in my stash.
I knew I had to hit these out of the ballpark if I were going to convince people to forego Duncan Hines mixes. Especially when you’re with a bunch of college students looking for a quick sweet tooth fix. Aside from the convenience, sometimes boxed mixes just taste really good. I get it. But they can’t compete with a pan full of ooey gooey squares of these Flourless Mocha Brownies.
These are definitely special brownies. Caffeine is a drug after all.
The last few batches of these casually came to English class with me this week. My professor took one bite and exclaimed, “WOW, that is like an injection of chocolate.” Then she licked her fingers clean. What do you think, will I get an A? (Jokes, I would never demean good food to use as a bribe.) We spent the beginning of class performing a taste test for comparison, in the name of science.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t realize to what extent food is a science. If school taught chemistry through cooking, it would have been my favorite subject instead of my worst. After reading a book about the science behind cooking, I began researching it more. Articles about leaveners and components of eggs held my attention for hours at a time. Despite that, though, I still approached recipe development as a pinch of this and a dash of that. Testing out these brownies (6 times!) felt like a real lab experiment, hypotheses included.
Even though you’ll appreciate a simple bite of Flourless Mocha Brownies, ignorance isn’t always bliss. I’m giving you the low-down on how changing ingredients influenced the results.
This is one of those leavening agents I read so much about as a teenager. I can finally tell the difference between it and baking powder without returning to Google! The point of both is to raise baked goods, creating a cakey crumb. Baking powder contains a little bit of acid together with the base, so that it self-activates. Usually I err on the side of using this when I’m not sure what the acid-base ratio in my recipe is. Baking soda, on the other hand, is purely basic. To activate it, you need to have a recipe with a high acid content, such as from lots of chocolate or honey.
As you’ll see, all you need to give these Mocha Brownies the best just-barely cakey, mostly fudgy texture is 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda. If you prefer super dense brownies, then leave it out entirely.
Separating eggs can be a pain in the rear end, but in the name of all things rich– it’s worth it. The yolks contain the fat component of eggs, which is what makes for decadent dishes. You probably recognize the emulsive properties from mayonnaise, but the yolks also play an important role in ice cream and chewy cookies.
Adding 1 extra egg yolk to your brownies makes them taste extra fudgy because of the higher fat ratio. You can omit the extra yolk to get a chewier brownie.
This is my favorite part and the one that made me the most nervous to mess with. I wanted to make these brownies flourless, for all my gluten-free peeps, but flour is one of the main ingredients in traditional brownies. To solve the problem I used a mix of cocoa powder and melted chocolate. You can read more about what kind of chocolate is best to use here. In a nutshell, you want natural unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate that’s somewhere between 70% and 85% cacao. My favorites are the Endangered Species, Pascha, and Equal Exchange bars.
Incorporating both of these does double duty. First, it strikes a healthy balance between chewy and fudgy that I think is crucial for serious brownies. Second, it makes for a more intensely chocolate flavor that no one should ever turn down. I actually found that I prefer using only 3.5 ounces of melted chocolate, but you can double it if you’re a real chocoholic. Doing it that way comes with a warning of intensity, though. I’d recommend adding chopped chocolate chunks, rather than melting more into the batter, if you want extra.
That’s all folks!
After this, I feel like I should wear a white lab coat in the kitchen and measure things in chemical beakers. I kept the rest of the ingredients the same, with the exception of the amount of coffee. While the recipe below is my favorite version, you could test out any of the above variations and see which you like best! I’d love to know which one wins your vote.
These Flourless Mocha Brownies are worth making from scratch. They even got the college-student stamp of approval, so you know it’s true.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate, 70-85% cacao
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an inch hanging over the side to easily remove the brownies.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Set it aside to cool a bit.
- In the meantime, beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and honey. Stir in the chocolate and oil mixture.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients until batter is smooth and no cocoa powder clumps remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, checking with a toothpick for doneness.
- Let cool before slicing. Store wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 5 days.
TO MAKE CHEWIER: use only 2 eggs and no extra egg yolk.
FOR MORE INTENSE CHOCOLATE: increase the melted chocolate up to 7 oz total.