Espresso powder is a popular ingredient in baking, especially in brownies and chocolate cakes. There are many reasons why you might be confused about what to add. Both can be used to make espresso powder. They have different uses and can’t be substituted for each other.
The first is instant coffee powder. The complex process of making instant coffee involves brewing the liquid coffee from coffee beans, and freezing it to make water-soluble granules (1). It is not possible to make instant espresso at home due to the complexity of the machine. Instant coffee is great for making a cup of coffee and can be taken with you when you travel. However, instant espresso is most often used for baking.
The espresso ground is the second type of espresso powder. These are already used to make coffee. The grounds are then dried and ground. It’s not water-soluble, so it isn’t suitable for making instant coffee. Instead, it’s specially made for baking. This is what we’ll show you how to make.
Both these types of espresso refer to the type of coffee. Instant granules as well as the powder are made of beans that have been dark-roasted in order to be compatible with espresso machines.
As we said, instant coffee is not possible at home. The DIY espresso powder is not useful for making quick cups of coffee. You will however find it useful in cooking with many different applications, sweet and savory.
Espresso powder is common in sweet treats. This is especially true for chocolate. This is because chocolate and coffee share the same flavor profile so you are essentially amplifying chocolate’s taste.
It has been proven that coffee can make sweet foods taste better (2). You’ll end up with delicious chocolate cakes and cookies even if you don’t increase the sugar content in your recipes. This is also true for beverages like homemade mochaccinos.
Espresso powder can be used in many other ways than baking. Espresso powder is also great for savory dishes, as the dark roast brings out the rich, earthy flavors. It can be used in stews and braise recipes that require cocoa powder. A teaspoon of espresso powder is used by some to make a dry spice rub for their steaks or to create char on grilled meats.
Let’s discuss grounds.
A jar of commercially manufactured espresso powder (not instant) will say “darkly roasted coffee beans which have been ground, ground, brewed and dried to make a fine powder.” (3).
This means that the ground in question has been used for espresso brewing. You’ll have plenty of grounds if you make espresso at home. These would be great for this recipe. Although this is a great way to recycle, it’s important to remember that most of the coffee in these grounds has been extracted.
You might consider using espresso beans, or ground that hasn’t been brewed yet, if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor. This option is great for people who don’t drink coffee but want to make espresso powder at their home. Making espresso powder from beans is often cheaper than buying it ready-made. These will have a higher caffeine content than pre-brewed coffee grounds.
Although this ingredient is known as espresso, you can use any type of whole or ground coffee to make it. Espresso vs. coffee beans is not about different beans. It’s just different serving options.
Any dark roast beans/grounds will work, even if not marked as espresso. You may be used to drinking light or medium roast coffee at home. If so, make a small batch using some of the leftover grounds. You can still get the chocolate-enhancing effect by adding some of your leftover grounds.
Once you have the necessary equipment, you can start cooking. This recipe can be used with any type of coffee grounds or espresso beans. The amount you make is up to you.
Pre-heat your oven to 170°F. If your oven is not able to go below 170°F, you can use the lowest temperature. It is important to dry the grounds and not to cook them. Place your ground on a baking sheet. A baking sheet with a rim is best so there is no spillage when you put the ground in the oven. Use whole beans in one layer if you are using them.
The type of coffee you use will determine the baking time. Unbrewed coffee beans and whole espresso beans can be baked in as little as an hour. Pre-brewed espresso grounds take about two hours. It is best to make sure you check the beans every hour so they don’t remain in there for too long.
For ground coffee, they should be dry enough to give them a “crunchy texture”. This is harder to do with beans but should give them a very brittle texture.
After taking your dried grounds out of the oven let them cool down on a baking sheet for 5-10minutes.
Transfer the coffee grounds to your coffee grinder. Depending on how large the amount of powder that you are making, it may be a good idea to grind your coffee in batches. Then, grind the powder until it becomes fine. This should be very similar to cocoa powder.
While we usually recommend a burr grinder to grind your beans, a blade coffee or spice grinder can be used in this situation. We don’t aim to get a consistent size grind, but we do want it to be as fine as possible. For this step, a mortar-and-pepper or blender can be used if you don’t have a grinder. If you’re working with whole beans, a grinder would be a good choice.
You will need to store your fresh ground espresso powder in an open container. Although you won’t be making coffee with this powder, it will still taste great!
Espresso powder has a shelf-life of approximately six months. But, be aware that flavor and taste can change over time. Exposure to oxygen can cause espresso powder to lose its flavor and affect the coffee’s natural oils. This can lead to a rancid taste ( 4). The freshness of the coffee can be affected by heat, humidity and heat. This means that it should not be stored in the refrigerator or on the stovetop. You should store it in a cool dark cupboard.
Properly storing your espresso powder is crucial to preserve its taste. You may consider purchasing a special spice container or coffee canister that has a one-way valve.
These simple steps will allow you to make your very own espresso powder, which can be used in a variety of recipes, including cakes and drinks. This will save you money and give life to your coffee grounds.
About the writer
Jacob I. is a contributor writer at multiple coffee sites such as K Cups for Sale , Park and Willow and Big Apple Grocer for over 25 years.