Brownies made with chocolate-hazelnut spread – a little chewy, a little fudgy, and a lot healthier than usual.
For several months – and for reasons that no longer make sense to me – I’ve been convinced that this blog needs a brownie recipe. Not a baked oatmeal version of brownies, not brownie pancakes, not overnight oats that taste like brownie batter, but actual, full-on brownies.
Being me, I wanted these brownies to be made without a mountain of butter, oil or sugar.
And so my brownie journey began…
While I’d made ‘healthier’ fudge brownies in the past using pumpkin puree instead of butter and eggs, that wasn’t what I was looking for this time around. Nope, these brownies needed to be a less dense and the tops needed to be a little crispy.
So, I tried making lighter brownies using Greek-style yogurt, chopped hazelnuts and significantly less sugar than most brownie recipes. The result? Meh. The brownies were too cake-like, the tops weren’t crispy enough, and they needed to be a little sweeter.
It was a shame, because I actually quite liked these photos of them:
After that, I decided to shelve my brownie plans for a while. I just wasn’t sure what that recipe needed to make brownies, instead of a kind of dense chocolate cake. Then, as luck would have it, I was given some products by Peanut Butter & Co, including their Chocmeister Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. The spread contains less sugar than the leading brand of chocolate-hazelnut spreads (no prizes for guessing which one that is), and the chocolate and hazelnut flavours are far more prominent.
This stroke of luck – and this very useful brownie guide – inspired me to grab my oven mitts and whip up some more brownies. And, at long last, success! After using a mixture of chocolate-hazelnut spread and Greek-style yogurt, and making a couple of other changes, I ended up with tall, very chocolatey brownies.
The brownies have crispy tops, but are nice and moist underneath (there’s nothing worse than a dry brownie, right?). They’re also a little chewy and a little fudgy – particularly the brownies in the middle of the pan – but aren’t overly fudge-like.
This recipe makes an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) pan of brownies. How many brownies does that yield? Who knows? I think it depends on whether you’re in the mood for a little piece of brownie to go with your morning coffee, or whether it’s one of those ‘Gosh darn it I need a brownie!’ days. (I actually have a secret chocolate stash for those days, for when brownies aren’t around).
Just in case you needed a reason to bake some brownies, December 8 is National Brownie Day in the US! While that’s still a few weeks away, it’s never too early to start celebrating – not when brownies are involved.
Note: As mentioned in the post, Peanut Butter & Co. provided me with some Chocomeister Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. As always, all opinions are my own.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (105g) superfine (caster) sugar
- ½ cup (145g) chocolate-hazelnut spread
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup (65g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (20g) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (45g) chopped hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup (65g) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) baking pan with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl, use electric beaters to beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate-hazelnut spread, yogurt and vanilla extract, and beat until well combined.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix with a spoon until just combined. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the top is dry but the middle is still a little wobbly.
- Let the brownies cool on the baking pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. If possible, cool completely before slicing into bars. Store in an airtight container.
I used Chocmeister Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.