Can You Grind Instant Ground Espresso to Make Espresso Powder for Baking?

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Many recipes for brownies, cookies, cakes and chocolate desserts call for espresso powder, but this secret ingredient may not be on your supermarket shelves. Not only can you swap instant espresso for espresso powder, you can substitute a wide range of espresso and coffee products. They may not give the same taste as espresso powder, but they will come close to it.

Instant Espresso

  • Instant ground espresso makes an ideal substitute for espresso powder, and is much easier to find. Because instant espresso is already ground into fine espresso crystals, you do not need to grind it again for use in baking. Substitute an equal amount of instant ground espresso for espresso powder when baking.

Other Dry Substitutes

  • Instant coffee powder and freeze-dried coffee powder, preferably dark roast, can also substitute for espresso powder. Because regular coffee is not as strong as espresso, professional baker Alice Medrich recommends using 25 to 30 percent more coffee powder than espresso powder in your recipe for a more robust coffee flavor. If you only have coffee or espresso beans on hand, you can finely ground the beans for use in baking. If you do this, use less than the amount called for in the recipe because the grounds are fresh and not brewed.

Liquid Substitutes

  • If you have espresso grounds, consider making espresso coffee to use in the recipe instead of espresso powder. Substitute an equal amount of liquid espresso for espresso powder. To avoid introducing more liquid into the recipe, subtract this amount from the liquids in your recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk and you added 2 tablespoons of espresso, reduce the amount of buttermilk by 2 tablespoons.

About Espresso Powder

  • Espresso powder comes from espresso beans that have already been ground and brewed. The brewed grounds are dried out, then ground into a fine powder. You can make your own espresso powder by drying espresso grounds and using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to create a powder.

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