Adapted from "The Sugar Cube" by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni
At her Portland, Oregon, food cart the Sugar Cube, Kir Jensen serves creative riffs on classic sweets like these brownies. She gives the bake-sale bar her signature twist by baking the brownies in muffin pans, then tops them with coffee syrup, chocolate ganache, olive oil, and sea salt. They are best served warm and eaten out of the wrapper with a spoon to ensure they don’t stick and they’re the most gooey and fudgy. For more recipes from Kir, check out her cookbook The Sugar Cube.
Special equipment: You will need a pastry brush for this recipe.
Fruity or grassy extra-virgin olive oil (look for one made with arbequina olives)
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
For the brownies:
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place 18 paper cupcake liners into 2 (12-well) muffin pans (you will have empty wells).
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Return the mixer to medium-high speed, add the sugars, and mix until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Return to medium-high speed, add the crème fraîche and vanilla, then add the eggs 1 at a time and mix until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the flour-cocoa mixture, and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir the batter a few times to incorporate any remaining streaks of flour.
Divide the batter evenly among the lined wells (they will be almost full). Bake the pans side by side, rotating them from back to front once during baking, until the edges of the brownies are puffed and set and the centers look slightly undercooked (but not raw), about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the coffee syrup.
For the coffee syrup:
Place the coffee and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for about 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Set aside.
When the brownies are done baking, lightly brush them with the coffee syrup while they’re still hot. (You will have some syrup left over.) Set the muffin pans on a wire rack and let them cool for at least 10 minutes, then remove the brownies from the pans to finish cooling on the rack.
Once the brownies are cool, divide the ganache among them, placing it in the indentations of the brownies. Just before serving, drizzle each brownie with olive oil and sprinkle it with a pinch of the flaky sea salt.