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.
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
185g unsalted butter
185g dark chocolate, 70%
3 eggs, large
275g caster sugar
100g hazelnuts, toasted & chopped
Pre-heat an oven to 180ºC. Line a 9inch square cake tin with silicone paper. Melt the chocolate & butter in a bowl heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir until completely melted and smooth then leave to cool slightly.
Beat the whole eggs and caster sugar with an electric whisk for approx. 4-5 mins until pale, thick and mousse like. The mixture will hold a “ribbon” or trail from the whisk for few seconds when it is ready. Add the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture and carefully fold the two together.
Sift the flour and the cocoa over the top and continue to fold into the mix, until it is a smooth batter. Right at the end stir in the chopped toasted hazelnuts. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the brownies have a slight wobble but are shiny and firm to the touch on top. Cool in the tin for 1 hour and once cool cut into the desired shapes.
Finish the brownies with a drizzle of melted chocolate and generous sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts and try your best to not eat them all in one sitting!
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Now if your not a fan of hazelnuts we have your back. This brownie recipe can hold its own without the addition of anything else. But just incase you don’t want it plain I thought you might like a list of alternative to this brownie to try out at your leisure!
Fruit and Nut – Try throwing in a handful of dried cherries, or cranberries into the batter along with some chopped nuts of your choice.
Triple Chocolate – Fold in 50g each of chopped white, milk and dark chocolate to get sensational full bodied chocolate brownie.
Raspberry and Almonds – carefully mix 100g of fresh raspberries into the brownie batter and top with flaked almonds before baking.
These are just a few ways you can mix things up, try out your own combinations and let us know what you’ve come up with.