Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Classic Brownie - swirled with Nutella and topped with Ferrero Rocher

The Classic Brownie - made February 20, 2016, recipe adapted from Brownie Points by Lisa Slater
A brief break from cookie recipes (although I have more coming) to put up my latest hack on a typical (plain) brownie recipe. It’s hard for me to make a plain brownie. I value the simplicity and goodness of a perfectly fudgy brownie as much as the next person but when you’ve made as many brownies as I have, you (or I) can’t resist tinkering.
This is one of my many baking books with brownie recipes in them. I’ve gone through a fair number of them as anyone reading my blog for awhile can attest to and every now and then, I try another one so I can increase the return on my investment of having so many baking books. I’ve thinned out a fair number already but let’s face it, when you have more than a hundred – and I do – that’s still a lot.
The beauty with brownies is they’re pretty forgiving no matter what you add to them. I was doing a clean out of my pantry and needed to use up some Nutella before it expired (because, c’mon, who lets Nutella expire??) and some Ferrero Rochers that I really didn’t want calling out to me anymore. I’ve ignored their siren song for this long and it was best that they be on their way.

To “stuff” the brownie with Nutella, simply layer half the brownie batter in an even layer on the bottom of the pan and dollop Nutella generously over it. And I mean generous. Don’t be dainty; now isn’t the time. No need to try to connect the dollops but don’t let them be too far apart either. Then cover all the dollop-y Nutella goodness with the rest of the brownie batter and bake. The tricky thing will be the toothpick test may not be that useful if you hit a pocket of Nutella when you insert the toothpick. If you did it right, there’s a high probability you’ll hit the Nutella too. What I try to do is insert the toothpick at an angle so I should get some of the toothpick through the brownie itself and not just the Nutella. Timing it doesn’t hurt either but you know I never remember to do that. A few minutes before the end of the baking time, drop the chopped Ferrero Rochers on top so they can melt slightly into the brownie. You don’t want them to melt completely but they should melt just enough to adhere a bit to the top of the brownie. Cool completely, cut into small pieces, go workout then come back and have a piece of rich chocolaty, fudgy goodness.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Nutella
12 Ferrero Rochers, chopped into quarters
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Melt butter and sugars in medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until melted and smooth. Add chopped chocolates and whisk until melted and combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking in each one until incorporated.
  5. Add salt and vanilla, stir to combine. Add flour and stir until just incorporated. Beat with wooden spoon until mixture is glossy. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Dollop Nutella over batter. Cover with remaining batter.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out with moist crumbs, not raw batter. Sprinkle top with chopped Ferrero Rocher, return to oven for 2 minutes (turn oven off) then remove to cool on wire rack.
  8. Let cool completely then cut into squares.

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