Why run to the store when you can fire up your oven instead? Keep reading to learn what espresso powder is, how to use it, and most importantly, how to make it at home.
Espresso powder is made of dehydrated, finely ground espresso beans. It’s often made with espresso grounds that have already been used for brewing, so making it at home is a great way to use your old grounds. If you’re looking for more things to do with coffee grounds, check out our guide.
Espresso powder, like espresso, is rich, dark, and very flavorful. It’s much more concentrated than instant coffee powder, which also has a harsher, almost sour flavor. You can use one in place of the other, though the flavors will differ and you’ll need to add about twice as much instant coffee powder.
Espresso powder is most often used in baking, particularly in recipes that involve chocolate. You may be surprised to learn that unless you add a lot of it, the espresso powder generally doesn’t impart a coffee flavor to your baked goods. Instead, it intensifies chocolate flavors, making them richer and more full. You can find espresso powder in recipes ranging from homemade ice cream to brownies.
You can also use espresso powder in dry rubs and spice blends, to add flavor to steaks, chicken breasts, and even braises and stews. Try experimenting with adding it to salad dressings, pot roasts, and barbecue sauces.
In a pinch, you can use espresso powder to make an instant shot of espresso, but be aware that it won’t have the full, deep flavor or mouthfeel of a shot that’s been traditionally pulled.
Keep in mind that espresso powder is very concentrated, so you won’t need to use a lot of it at a time.
Now that you know what it is and how to use it, it’s time to get cooking. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
The best beans for espresso powder are fresh and darkly roasted. Espresso is not a variety of coffee beans, like Arabica or Robusta, but instead refers to its dark roast, which helps your brewed espresso have bold and smoky flavor.
You can use previously brewed or fresh coffee grounds. If you make espresso powder using coffee that hasn’t been brewed, it will have a stronger flavor and higher caffeine content. Use slightly less of this more concentrated powder in your recipes.
Now that you know how to make espresso powder at home, you can skip the trip to the store. Using these simple steps, you can transform your brewed espresso grounds into dried espresso powder, ideal for baking. Your chocolate cakes (and anyone who eats them) will thank you.
By Kate MacDonnell