I have tried dozens of brownies recipes in my time…plain brownies, brownies with nuts, chocolate orange, mint chocolate, white chocolate, and many more. I have a few trusted favourites, for example Nigella’s snow flecked chocolate brownie, Nigel Slater’s Glastonbury brownie (as dense and fudgy as the name suggests), and an amazing recipe from my lovely friend, simply called Hevz’s brownies. Dorie Greenspan’s quintuple chocolate brownies are pretty special too, but they deserve a whole blog post of their own and that’s for another time ;-)
Even though I know all of the above recipes are reliable and delicious, the way I see it is there are so many different recipes for brownies out there, it would be a shame not go give them a go at least once!
I borrowed a cookery book from the library called “One More Slice” by Leila Lindholm and I was intrigued by her brownie recipe..she starts the chapter in the book with a basic brownie recipe which is then followed by nine different variations to try, including peanut butter brownies (swoon!) and rocky road (double swoon!) But I was immediately drawn to the double hazelnut brownie because one of the main ingredients is Nutella. I adore the stuff and always keep a jar in the cupboard – more for my boys than myself to be honest, but I can’t resist sneaking a little spoonful of the gorgeous hazelnut spread now and then ;-)
Believe me when I say these brownies are nothing short of amazing..some people like gooey brownies, others prefer them on the cakey side..this recipe gives you the best of both worlds. They ended up like a really moist chocolate cake with a gorgeous gooey exterior, but not so gooey it was impossible to cut into neat(ish!) squares. So chocolatey and rich, but not so much you wouldn’t find yourself reaching out for another piece…I’m in brownie heaven!
Leila’s basic Brownie recipe
The full recipe makes 24 – but I halved the recipe. I used a 20cm square baking tin and got 12 squares.
175g Soft Butter
250 sugar – I used half caster and half light brown sugar.
75g Good Cocoa powder
50ml golden syrup
1/4 tsp salt (I omitted this because I used salted butter)
3 free range eggs
100g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 6. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the cocoa, syrup and salt (if using). Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour to the batter, mixing only until the flour disappears into the batter. Pour into the lined baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. I baked for the full 35 minutes and it seemed to be just right, any more time in the oven and they would lose that gorgeous gooey interior.
For Nutella brownies, roast 150g (I only had 75g so that’s what I used) of hazelnuts in a hot frying pan, being careful not to burn them (I take them off the heat the minute they start to smell nutty!) Place them in a towel and rub off most of the skin. Fold the nuts into the batter. It has just occured to me that you could save yourself all this trouble and just use a packet of skinned, chopped hazelnuts but I just happened to have a packet of whole ones in the cupboard :-)
Pour the brownie batter into the tin. Spoon or drizzle 175g of Nutella over the top of the batter and draw a pattern through the Nutella with a knife or skewer, so the batter looks marbled. Bake as directed above, the brownie should still be a little sticky when it comes out of the oven. Now comes the really hard part – leave to cool for a few hours before cutting into squares. I thinking pudding tonight will be one of these beauties with vanilla ice cream and a little melted drizzled Nutella..mmmmmmm :-) Enjoy your Saturday everyone!