HAZELNUT BROWNIES

These hazelnut brownies have to be one of our ultimate favourites. They are just the right combination of every texture brownies should be. Crisp around the edges, with a moist, almost undercooked fudgy centre, and an explosion of rich chocolate flavour. The addition of little bits of tasted hazelnuts are just an added bonus.

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These brownies actually have a bit of body behind them, they aren’t thin and mushy like some brownies. They have substance and density when you bite into them, and they boast the ever-elusive and much sought after shiny, glass- like, shatteringly-crisp, thin brownie crust that seems to be the calling card of all amazing brownies.

The crispy, glossy top is achieved by whisking the sugar into the eggs long enough for the sugar to start to dissolve. When that happens, the dissolved sugar rises to the surface of the brownie as it bakes, creating a shiny, shatteringly-crisp surface. This whisking of the eggs and sugar also allows the brownie mixture to become aerated, giving it height and it’s soft texture without the use of any raising agents. So no flat, soft, textureless brownies here!

If you like your brownies rich, dense and fudgy then these are the brownies for you. Make sure to bake these hazelnut brownies until they have a slight wobble and the top is firm to the touch. If you like them a little more cake you won’t have to change a thing in the recipe just cook them for 10 – 15 minutes longer.

Just keep in mind that when cooking brownies with such a high amount of chocolate, it’s easy to over bake the brownies and end up with dry joyless squares, instead of the desired rich fudgy texture.

My advice is err on the side of under-baking: An overcooked brownie is dry and crumbly, while an undercooked brownie is gooey, moist and delicious.

— Al Brady