cooperation is the key ::::
Now that I’ve gotten over much of my nausea, my craving for sweets has improved also. The marriage of chocolate and hazelnuts entered my mind late one night recently, so I started looking for a recipe for a decadent, multi-layer cake. Finding too many recipes that required the need for the palm oil based Nutella rather than the deconstructed hazelnut paste and chocolate, I fell into a sour cream brownie recipe instead, and felt the addition of some hazelnuts to some sturdy semi-sweet chocolate would do the job better and more easily. Not that I didn’t want the change of the cake. Reining myself in is a practiced skill, still difficult when a pile of recipes sit like dance cards on my desk when the music is bright and sweet.
These brownies are not unlike my PB&J brownies, with a rich and fudgy bite, but a little more cakey and springy with the added love of hazelnuts. What person thought of putting hazelnuts and chocolate together, s/he was a genius in knowing the compliment of the two together. What a matchmaker.
A nice one, but still not exactly as I had envisioned. See those crumbly hazelnuts above? Not what I wanted for my brownies. See, I enlisted Eat to pick up the hazelnuts at the market, not specifying that I wanted whole hazelnuts that I could skin and toast myself. Instead of the full-flavor hazelnuts, the measly crumbs that I used worked out. I think a better overall hazelnut flavor would have come through with the fresher, whole hazelnuts though. Compromise is not a cornerstone of marriage, but cooperation, even when it involves hazelnuts and chocolate.
One year ago: polenta cubes in broth
Two years ago: basil lemonade with meyer lemons
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 1⅔ cups)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (I used a mix)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup hazelnuts, saving some to sprinkle on top
- 1 cup chocolate chips (UPDATE: I have added these in to find I get a moister brownie than when I omit. Don't miss these!)
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, so edges overhang on two sides to create a sling.
- Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. I heated in 10 second intervals at high heat until butter melted and chocolate melted, stirring at every break. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well-blended. Add chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Gradually mix in flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in sour cream in same manner. Stir in nuts (or chocolate chips, if using).
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Spread evenly (I used my offset spatula).
- Bake 38-42 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs (if no moist crumbs, the brownies will be too dry). Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.
- I cut into 24 small rectangles to accommodate small mouths.