THE NIGHT BEFORE: Place ricotta in a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, inside a mesh strainer, over a bowl, at the least for 12 hours, to allow all the moisture to drain out.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease, or line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Whisk together with sugar until pale in color. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, espresso powder, and salt. Fold into wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips until just combined.
- Bake for 26-30 minutes, until edges are set; the center may still seem jiggly, but that’s just fudgy brownies! Let brownies cool before topping.
- Gently stir together drained ricotta cheese, lemon zest, vanilla, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside while you make the whipped cream.
- In a chilled bowl, add heavy cream. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand), beat the heavy cream on medium until peaks begin to form, approximately 3-5 minutes. The whipped cream will hold its shape – but stop at the point it begins to hold – if you keep going you’ll have butter 🙂
- Fold whipped cream into the ricotta mixture along with the mini chocolate chips. Top cooled brownies with topping and garnish with additional mini chocolate chips. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.