7 April 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies


Are you devout to your favourite recipes, or do you prefer to try out variations even if the results aren't guaranteed to be better?

I, personally, am always trying other recipes just to see the difference. For example, I have already explored two very different types of brownies on this blog (like black bean brownies, or supernatural brownies).

I am so glad I'm not attached-to-the-hip with recipes, because otherwise I wouldn't find wonderful ones like this! Today I made chocolate hazelnut brownies. And they were ooey-gooey delicious and heaven! But they tasted different than the other ones I've made.

Why? They are made with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate.


So, what's the difference between brownies made with cocoa powder, and brownies made with melted chocolate?

Firstly, the texture: my melted chocolate brownies are very soft and gooey, whereas these cocoa brownies are slightly chewier. Both are delicious but quite different. It's all a question of preference!

Secondly, price: cocoa powder is always going to be slightly easier on the wallet than high quality chocolate. Why? Because cocoa powder is simply one element of the cocoa bean, whereas baking chocolate is various elements (such as cocoa butter, sugar, ground cocoa) mixed together.

No matter your preference, it's safe to say that chocolate is chocolate is chocolate.... and is delicious. Especially with hazelnuts! :)

How do you feel about being loyal to recipes? Is there a recipe that you fell in love with and now use regularly? Share in the comments!


 Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies


Ingredients:

- 2/3 cup (140 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts

Directions:

1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 325F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on the sides.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove to stir, and then microwave again for another 30 seconds to one minute or until the mixture is hot and melty. It will still look fairly gritty.
Note: you can also do this step on the stove in a double boiler.
3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, fold in the flour until there are no more floury-streaks, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Makes 16-25 brownies (depending on size).

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.


Let us know your take on recipe-loyalty in the comments below!

3 comments:

  1. OMG these look amazing!!!! I don't care whether its powder or block, chocolate is delicious!

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  2. Just in case you missed it, 1/3 cup of butter is definitely less than 140 grams of butter, since 1/2 cup butter (one stick) is about 113 grams. Aside from that, these brownies look so mouth-wateringly good! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the keen eye, Joy! And you're right-- I meant 2/3 cup, and have made the changes.
      They are buttery-delicious! :)

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