Some people prefer cake-like brownies but the majority of people in North America favor fudge-like brownies. Moist and gooey with a deep and well balanced chocolate flavor. Due to the richness this is not the type of brownie you desire as a large piece. I suggest you keep these under refrigeration since at room temperature they will get rather soft. If you desire to make a version which is less moist or fudgy add some flour and or cocoa powder. A less fudgy brownie works very well when heated in a microwave and served with gelato. Non alkalized cocoa is preferred here since the recipe contains baking soda which will naturally alkalize the cocoa powder and provide a very good chocolate flavor. In terms of chocolate, I use a chocolate of 45% cocoa mass in these brownies. You could use a chocolate with a higher amount of cocoa mass but keep in mind that brownies need sugar to obtain a fudge-like consistency. Consequently a brownie made with higher cocoa mass levels will be less fudge-like.
Nuts are delicious in brownies and many types work very well. In this particular brownie I used pre-toasted hazelnuts and candied orange peel. A personal favorite, however choose a combination which is appealing and makes financial sense in your part of the world.
Brownies with Hazelnuts and Candied Orange Peel
Yield: 16x 12 inch (40x 30 cm) pan.
|12 oz||butter||360 g|
|1 lb 5 oz||Chocolate (45-48% cocoa mass)||630 g|
|4 oz||Invert sugar||120 g|
|14 oz||Eggs||420 g|
|2 tsp||Vanilla extract||10 g|
|16 oz||Extra fine granulated sugar||480 g|
|1 tsp||salt||5 g|
|12 oz||Pastry flour||360 g|
|2.25 oz||Cocoa powder (Non alkalized preferred)||68 g|
|1/2 tsp||Baking soda||2 g
- Toast 1 lb (480 g) of hazelnuts and chop 6 oz (180 g) candied orange peel and set aside.
- Melt the butter and chocolate to 110F (43C) and hold at this temperature.
- In a mixing bowl fitted with the whip attachment whip the invert sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt until well combined. However do not whip to a ribbon!
- Pour in the chocolate and mix until combined.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and add to the above, mix on low speed and do not overmix. Add the hazelnuts and candied orange peel.
- Pour onto a parchment lined frame or half size sheet pan (with high edges). Bake at 340F (170C) until the center has set, about 35-40 minutes.
- Once cooled place in a freezer and allow to freeze for several hours.
- Cut around the edges of the brownie sheet to release, turn upside down onto a parchment lined sheet pan. If the brownies do not release, hold the bottom of the pan briefly over a gas flame and turn upside down.
- Cover with ganache if desired and decorate.