Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cocoa hazelnut brownies

Some good friends of mine moved house on Monday. I, by contrast, have not moved very far from my computer in the last month with a seemingly neverending string of deadlines. So to make something for their move, that required me to move only as far as my kitchen, where all the ingredients were waiting for me, I turned to these brownies. The ones I usually make require a bit of forethought, as they contain prunes that need to be soaked for three days, but these cocoa hazelnut numbers take about as long to make as the decision to make them, which you'll see, after your eyes graze over these images (or these, from the original source) is not very long at all.

Most brownies are made by melting butter and dark chocolate, but here, the chocolate is swapped for cocoa. I'd been looking for a recipe to showcase the contents of the catering size bag of Italian Pernigotti cocoa I'd lugged back from Seattle (of all places) last year and this proved perfect. Dense, dark, delicious. Worth moving for. Whatever the distance.

Cocoa hazelnut brownies
Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Coates

The Sugar Hit is an amazing blog by Brisbane-based Sarah Coates. Currently, my favourite thing about Mondays are her weekly posts on international street food.

150g butter
280g sugar
90g cocoa
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 eggs
50g plain flour
75g chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C and line a 8 inch (20cm) square baking pan with baking paper.

Place the butter into a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat.

When the butter is melted, add the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt and stir until combined and free of lumps. Leave to cool for about five minutes.

Add both of the eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined.

Add the flour and most of the hazelnuts, keeping a few for the top. Beat the mixture for a good thirty seconds until smooth and shiny.

Scrape the batter into the lined baking pan, and scatter the reserved hazelnuts on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you like them gooey and a little underbaked, pull them out at 20 minutes, or if you want them just cooked through, give them the full 25.

Leave to cool in the pan, and then slice into as many pieces as you like.

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