C’est Magnifique! Isabelle’s Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie.


Chocolate and hazelnuts. A true marriage made in heaven. This weekend  my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Co-incidentally one of my very loyal blog readers Isabelle very generously provided me with her favourite French chocolate brownie recipe. After a very long day spent at the swimming pool watching my daughter compete in yet another meet, what did I do? Not collapse on the sofa with a well-deserved glass of wine. I baked this decadent brownie. As Isabelle predicted I would. My excuse? An anniversary present for my husband.  An aficionado of all things chocolate.

I have baked so many different versions of  chocolate brownies in my time. From the dense and fudgy to the light and cake-y. But  I have never come across a flourless brownie before. This one is truly magnificent.

Unbelievably chocolate-y and rich. But so very moist and incredibly light. All at the same time. The secret must be that it is baked in a water bath. Then left to cool completely before being sliced into squares. Another twist? It uses both whole and ground hazelnuts. The whole hazelnuts are caramelised in a little sugar before being folded into the brownie batter.  Providing sweet, nutty, buttery bursts of deliciousness which cut through the intense rich chocolate.

Thank you Isabelle. This recipe is definitely a keeper. A wonderful addition to my repertoire. Here is the original recipe as provided to me in French from Elle magazine. And my English translation underneath. Using my long forgotten school girl French. I hope I’ve done the original recipe justice.

Brownie Chocolat Noisettes Sans Farine

250g de chocolat noir
3 œufs
125g de beurre demi-sel
50g de noisettes entières décortiquées
125g de noisettes en poudre
125g de sucre de canne en poudre

Préchauffez le four sur  160C et préparez un bain-marie: versez de l’eau a mi-hauteur dans un grand plat pouvant contenir le moule du brownie.
Faites fonder le chocolat dans une casserole au bain-marie jusqu’à obtenir une pate lisse.
Faites griller les noisettes entières dans une poêle à sec avec 1 c. à café de sucre, sous haute surveillance pour que le sucre ne brûle pas. Réservez sur une assiette.
Beurrez un moule rectangulaire ou carré et saupoudrez 1 c. à soupe rase de poudre de noisette.
Dans un saladier, fouettez le beurre ramolli avec le sucre restant, ajoutez les œufs, fouettez de nouveau, versez le chocolat et le reste de poudre de noisette. Mélangez bien l’ensemble, incorporez les noisettes entières caramélisées et versez le tout dans le moule.
Enfournez 25 à 30 min au bain-marie, la lame d’un couteau enfoncée au centre du brownie doit ressortir humide.
Laissez refroidir complètement avant de découper le brownie en carrés.

Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownie

Makes 16 -20 squares

250g dark chocolate
3 eggs
125 g salted butter
125g caster sugar
50 g whole hazelnuts, skins removed
125 g hazelnut meal, (I like to grind the whole hazelnuts myself in the foodprocessor to achieve a coarser texture)

PREHEAT the oven to 160 C.
GREASE a rectangular or square baking dish. Dust with one level tablespoon hazelnut powder.
PREPARE a water bath. Fill a roasting pan that is large enough to hold the baking dish with enough hot water  to come halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.
MELT chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water until smooth.
TOAST the whole, skinned hazelnuts in a dry heavy based frying pan with 1 heaped tablespoon of  sugar. Take care  that the hazelnuts and sugar do not burn as they caramelise.  Set aside on a plate.
IN A mixing bowl, beat softened butter with the remaining sugar. Add eggs, beat again, then add the chocolate and hazelnut meal. Mix well to combine.
FOLD through the whole caramelized hazelnuts and pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.
BAKE for  25 to 30 minutes in a water bath until the brownie is cooked to the point where the blade of a knife inserted into the centre comes out a little moist.
LET the brownie cool completely before into squares.

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6 Responses to C’est Magnifique! Isabelle’s Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie.

  1. I love love love brownies! It’s funny that this brownie recipe has hazlenut meal in it, because I saw hazlenut meal at the supermarket yesterday and wondered what I could make with it. Now I have the perfect recipe! Thank you for sharing and Happy Anniversary to you and husband 🙂

  2. Ben Gaiarin says:

    Man, do these brownies look good! So moist! The combination of hazelnut and chocolate is a classic. That’s what makes Nutella such a hit, and their factory in Ferrero smelling so good! Great recipe, and happy anniversary!

  3. Isabelle says:

    Happy Aniversary to you and your husband!
    Bravo for the French version.
    For the Nutella lovers, I should be able to dig into my library and find again this brownie version made with Nutella…. I’ve never made as I thought it was too decadent… 😉

  4. wattleflat says:

    Happy anniversary to our favourite food magician.

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