Wait, don't go! The brownies were good, but just that the intensity of the hazelnut flavour did not come out as strongly as I had intended. So it tasted much like a good ole' regular brownie, with a fresh dimension added by the hazelnuts. But then if I want a good ole' regular brownie, I would definitely use walnuts and add chocolate chips.
The combination of hazelnut and chocolate, commonly associated with Nutella, has never failed to amaze me. It is the lethal combination, in my opinion, and I wanted to use it to create a brownie, which is a much loved dessert by many, just a bit different. So, in order to get there, I decided to tweak a tried-and-tested fudgy brownie recipe, but because this is going to be the start of a long chain of experiments, I halved the original recipe.
The recipe is easy to follow. I prepared the hazelnuts by tossing them in the toaster. I truely believe both the flavour and intensity of nuts are both greatly elevated through the heating process. Then I rubbed the skins off and with a mortar and pestle, pound them lightly to break them up. The aroma was amazing; I had to stop myself from eating them. After popping the pan into the oven, I went off to work so just keep in mind the brownie cooled in the oven, rather than on a rack.
Back from work, the brownie felt a little too hard in the pan. Luckily, it was still moist and fudgy in the inside, just as I like it, while still maintaining a crusty surface. I suppose if I had let it cool on a rack, the crust would have been more crispy and lighter. Anyway, I served the brownies slightly warmed up in a microwave, accompanied with
In future, I shall try upping the hazelnut-chocolate spread, as well as incorporate some ground hazelnut into the mixture to elevate the hazelnut intensity.
SE's Fudgy "Hazelnut"-Chocolate Brownies
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
- 2 ounces chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 160C/325F. Butter or line with parchment paper an 8"x4" loaf pan (or 8" square cake pan, if doubling recipe) and set aside.
Heat the unsweetened chocolate, hazelnut chocolate spread and butter in the top of a 2 1/2 to 3-quart double boiler or water bath. Stir occasionally until melted. If necessary, whisk to smooth. Remove from heat, stir in the salt, vanilla, and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated.
Add the flour and stir briskly for about a minute until the mixture is smooth and shiny and comes away from the side of the pot. Stir in the nuts. Turn the mixture into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted gently into the center comes out moist, but free of batter.
Remove from the oven. Cool on a rack. Serve warm with good ice cream and good company.
Makes eight 2-inch brownies or four real-decent-sized brownies.