Hazelnut Triple-Decker Brownies

  • Hazelnut Layer Brownies

    The Husband and I were watching a documentary about prison, like we seem to end up doing every three weeks or so, and I was inspired by these triple-decker bunks they stuff convicts into now in order to save space.  Double-decker bunks are apparently old-school, relics of a time before the whole overcrowding problem, when the correction system was flush with cash.  It’s all about sardine-stuffing prisoners in gymnasiums now, three layers deep.

    Clearly I was excited- not necessarily to make a dessert with a sardine-focus (this time around), but to make a three-layer bar of pretty much anything.  Hazelnuts were in the house because it was our friend Julia’s birthday on the horizon, and she has a thing for filberts, so the ideas for the layers stacked on top of one another pretty easily in my head (especially since a giant jar of Nutella in our cupboard was waiting patiently to be finished, after being opened about 45 minutes earlier).

    Here’s a takeoff on the World’s Greatest Fudge Brownie, with a bit of booze thrown in, and toasted hazelnuts sprinkled on top for good measure.  Enjoy it, x 3.

    BROWNIE BASE:

    4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate

    3/4 cup unsalted butter

    2 cups sugar

    2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur (like Frangelico)- optional

    1 teaspoon real vanilla

    3 lightly beaten eggs

    1 cup flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    Optional: 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

    1 cup chocolate chips

    1 1/2 cups Nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread)- to spread on top of cooled brownie base

    GANACHE TOPPING:

    1 cup whipping/heavy cream

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

    2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (like Frangelico)- optional

    1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted (for garnish)

    1. MAKE BROWNIE BASE:
      1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 x 13″ foil-lined pan.
      2. Melt chocolate & butter in microwave for 2:15 minutes and stir.
      3. Stir in sugar, then hazelnut liqueur (if using), vanilla, eggs, salt, espresso powder (optional) & flour.  Stir in chocolate chips.
      4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes (until center is just set).
      5. Allow to cool completely and spread Nutella evenly over brownie base.  Set aside.
    2. MAKE GANACHE TOPPING:
      1. Place chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat until just about to boil, then pour over chocolate.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Stir Frangelico into ganache (if using).  Allow to cool to room temperature.
    3. Spread cooled ganache over brownie/Nutella layers.  Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts over ganache.  Allow dessert to chill before slicing into bars.

    Tips:

    • The ganache… don’t be alarmed that it will be quite runny while it’s still warm- it WILL set.  And you can use dark chocolate or semi sweet or bittersweet- whatever you’d like.
    • The nuts… toast them in a hot over for about 8 minutes (until fragrant but definitely not burning).
    • Eat within a few days.  Yes, you can freeze these, but ganache isn’t as perfect after thawing, so try to go for it in the first round.
    • Enjoy!

     

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    July 30th, 2016 | More Sweets Please | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

2 Responses and Counting...

  • These sound and look so good! Chocolate and hazelnut is one of my favourite flavour combinations

  • So glad you like that combo. It really is a classic worth making daily :)

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