I don't normally experiment much with a recipe when I make it for the first time since I want to see how it turns out the way the recipe creator intended. But in this case, I was in a more adventurous mood and brownies are fairly easy to experiment with since they can be pretty forgiving. I'm still on my nutella kick and I still had most of the jar of crema gianduja that I had picked up in Melbourne's Little Italy so I decided to play with that. If you don't have gianduja, it's fine to use Nutella - just warm it up for 20-30 seconds in the microwave to make it easier to work with.
Golde's original recipe calls for making this in a 9 x 13" pan but I finally found my 10" square pan and was in the mood for thick brownies so I decided to use the smaller pan. Since I was experimenting anyway, might as well push the envelope. Past experiments with adding nutella to brownies taught me the flavor doesn't come out that strongly against the chocolate. It pops better against a non-chocolate flavor. So for this brownie, I tried to go high octane on the gianduja - I added 1/2 cup to the batter itself then I dropped dollops of it within the brownie itself before baking. And to get really pushy, after I took it out of the oven, I dropped dollops of Nutella on top of the hot brownie and as it softened, I spread it like frosting.
For the most part, I'd consider this adaptation of Golde's recipe a success. The brownies came out thick, moist and fudgy. The gianduja flavor was still subtle except for the Nutella frosting layer. It's more of a semisweet or milk chocolate type of brownie instead of a dark, dark chocolate brownie but I liked it just as well. The only problem was, although I lined the baking pan with foil and sprayed the foil with nonstick cooking spray, the brownies stuck to the foil and were hard to peel off. This is because they were so moist and fudgy so it seems like a small price to pay. If you make these, you can line the pan with parchment paper as that might peel off more easily than foil.
1 cup butter (Golde's original recipe called for 1 cup of shortening)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
1 cup crema gianduja or nutella, divided (for plain chocolate brownie, omit gianduja)
4 eggs, beaten slightly
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
2. In top of a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate. Add 1/2 cup crema gianduja and stir to mix. Pour into a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the lightly beaten eggs and then gradually add the sugar, mixing thoroughly.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and blend well. Mix in the vanilla and corn syrup then add the chocolate chips.
4. Pour half the batter into greased 10 x 10” baking pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drop dollops of the remaining 1/2 cup crema gianduja over the batter and cover with the remaining brownie batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs, not raw batter. Cool pan on wire rack. Cut into squares when cool.