For example, I have tweaked the recipe for chocolate and hazelnut brownies many times until it reached the perfect texture and taste I wanted. This was actually one of the first recipes I shared on the blog nearly seven years ago.
Over the years, even though they have always been delicious, I was not entirely satisfied with the end result. It had room for improvement, so I started adding an ingredient here, removing one there. After all this tweaking, I finally reached peak chocolate brownies deliciousness.
Of course, I was not going to just go and change the recipe where it is currently sitting on the blog. Because the one I shared then might be perfectly suitable for a lot of my readers with ingredients they prefer so I decided to leave it as it is. And also because I like to see how things have changed on the blog for the past seven years (nearly!). It is a good reminder of how it has grown.
The recipe I want to share with you this time is for almond and hazelnut chocolate brownies. As far as chocolate brownies go, they are just perfect with a fudge-like texture that creates melt-in-the-mouth bites of a wonderful dessert.
I know a lot of people like to eat chocolate brownies almost straight out of the oven, or maybe cooled down for a few minutes in order to eat a warm square of brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But (yes, there is a but) what about letting it cool down completely? And what if you waited even longer and ate it the next day? Gasp! Ok, for chocolate brownies lovers, I know that sounds a bit like torture.
But trust me here when I say that those next day almond and hazelnut chocolate brownies are even more delicious. Their texture is more fudge-like and the chocolate flavour more intense. Once I had a bite, I could hardly stop myself eating more: could chocolate brownies be a meal served three times a day? Is it suitable for breakfast? Do I have to share it? Mmmmmm… no, no (or a maybe, it depends on the occasion) and yes.
Did I convince you to try those almond and hazelnut chocolate brownies? Even though I had already posted a similar recipe in the past, when I tasted this new batch, I instantly knew I had to share it here. I hope you check out the improved recipe further below, make them and tell me if they were as heavenly for you as they were for me.
Have you ever eaten the most perfect chocolate brownies already?
Did you make them or did you have them in a café/restaurant? Tell me all about it!
If you end up making my recipe and sharing a photo on Instagram, tag me (@cremedecitron) and add #cremedecitronblog_recipe so I can see your creations
Ingredients (make 20 brownie pieces)
200g diced butter*
200g chopped dark chocolate**
200g caster sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 heaped tablespoons almond meal
50g roughly chopped hazelnuts
50g almond butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan).
Line a shallow baking tray or tin (35cm x 25cm and at least 2cm deep) with greaseproof baking paper.
2. Put the chopped dark chocolate and diced butter in a large heatproof baking bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl so make sure the bowl is larger than the saucepan). Leave on a low heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and stir constantly to mix them together.
3. Take the bowl off the pan and stir in the caster sugar with a wooden spoon. Set aside for 5 minutes and add the eggs in one by one, mixing well after each until you have a glossy mixture.
Fold in the cocoa powder, almond meal and chopped hazelnuts.
4. Pour the batter into the lined baking tray or tin with a spatula and spread evenly. Dot the top with small dollops of almond butter and swirl them with a skewer (or a chopstick). Put on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. It should be crisp on the outside and set in the middle (insert a skewer or thin knife blade in the centre, it should come out clean).
5. Let the chocolate brownie to cool down in the tin or tray for 15 minutes before serving or afterwards, if like me you prefer a piece of cold fudge-like brownie, transfer with the baking paper onto a wire rack to cool down completely.
Cut the almond and hazelnut chocolate brownie into square pieces and serve warm with some delicious vanilla ice cream (and even - hello indulgence! - a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce). Those brownies are also wonderful served cold with tea and coffee.
* You can use unsalted or salted butter for this recipe. I come from a region of France where we swear by salted butter (beurre demi-sel) in our cooking and even for baking cakes, so I used the salted version in this recipe.
** For really delicious brownies, I recommend choosing a good quality chocolate. My favourite and the one I used here is Lindt Dark Chocolate 70%.