Wednesday, April 10, 2013

brown butter hazelnut brownies

1. bonjour!
2. i am seriously overwhelmed
3. lists make things feel less complicated
4. great.
5. i made brownies and they are way too good not to share.
6. i'm figuratively shouting from the rooftop (from a coffee shop) how amazeballs the brownies are.
7. if you just flinched a little when you read that, then we're on the same page. i will never say amazeballs ever again.

8. the brownies are like hazelnutty gooey fudge bliss.
9. they are gluten free by nature, if that sort of thing floats your fancy.
10. there is browning of butter.
11. i love you.
12. there is chopping up dark awesome chocolate. no chocolate chips people.
13. there is toasting hazelnuts, and grinding them into a beautiful nibby flour.
14. it's clearly a more involved brownie.
15. but this is a way better brownie.
16. promise.

Brown Butter Hazelnut Brownies

16 ounces unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate (65-72%), chopped
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved (or 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
7 ounces toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
4.5 ounces cocoa powder (NOT Hershey's)
6 eggs
21 ounces sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp instant coffee powder

preheat oven to 375 degreesF. 
line a 9x13 inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment (once strip down the middle and hanging over the ends will work perfect, this will help with removing the brownies from the pan.) 
melt the butter, along with the vanilla bean pod in a medium saucepan over low heat until liquefied. (if you are using vanilla extract, don't add it now. add it in later with the salt and espresso.)
crank up the heat to medium low. the mixture will bubble, there's no need to stir, just keep an eye on it and keep simmering until browned and bits at the bottom are brown (don't let them turn black!)
remove from the heat and add in the chocolate. whisk scraping the bottom to mix up the browned bits,  until smooth. set off the heat to cool. 
put the hazelnuts and cocoa in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. set aside. 
with a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, reserved vanilla seeds (or vanilla extract), salt and espresso powder. whip on medium speed for about 5 minutes. 
turn down the speed on the stand mixer to low and pour in the butter/chocolate mixture all at once. immediately add in the dry ingredients and keep mixing until incorporated. 
pour or spoon into the prepared pan. bake about 30-35 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch. they may not seem totally done when you pull them out, but this brownie is so dense that it will retain its head and keep cooking for a bit of time. err on the side of gooey. 
cool the brownies thoroughly before cutting or removing from pan. 
if you'd like extremely neat squares, chill in the refrigerator before cutting. 

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