Lucca Cafe's brownies

A delicate, crisp crust enveloping a wonderfully ooey-gooey filling. Recipe: Lucca Cafe's brownies

(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: Had a lovely lunch last Friday at the Lucca Cafe in Irvine. The meal was wonderful. The payoff was their brownie. It was so good that several of us ordered an extra one to take home. It almost seemed as if the outside were a chocolate meringue and the inside a very moist, soft chocolate. If you could secure the recipe, we would be forever grateful!

Thank you,

Carole Mayo

San Diego

Dear Carole: With a delicate, crisp crust enveloping a wonderfully ooey-gooey filling, this amazingly rich brownie takes perfection and coats it in chocolate — and then drizzles over even more chocolate just for good measure. Lucca was happy to share its recipe for brownies, which we've adapted below. Try to eat just one.

Lucca Cafe's brownies

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Total time: 1½ hours, plus cooling and chilling times

Servings: 18 brownies

Note: Adapted from Lucca Cafe in Irvine. Lucca uses Elite brand instant coffee.


1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 pound salted butter

5 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee

3 3/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups plus 2½ tablespoons (7 ounces) flour