June 5, 2008

Hazelnut Coffee Brownies

Adapted from a Cooks Illustrated brownie recipe.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 oz)
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used 100% Guirardelli, black label)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup finely ground coffee beans (I used a Starbucks whole bean blend, Pike Place, and ground it myself)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour (NOT the self rising kind)
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped hazelnuts

9"x13" pan (I used a straight edged aluminum commercial brand)
parchment paper (NOT waxed paper, that melts)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper 9"x13" and place in bottom of the pan. This will help take the brownies out.
  3. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 5 minutes if already chopped, 10 minutes if whole. Chop after they cool off if not chopped already.
  4. Melt butter on microwave. 2-3 minutes at power 50% will probably do.
  5. Chop chocolate and put in the melted butter. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes until it is all melted. Mix w/ a spatula. If there are still unmelted chucks, melt on microwave at 30% power using 30 second intervals and mixing in between until all is melted. Do not overheat or the chocolate will burn. It should look nice and smooth and shiny.
  6. Mix sugar and ground coffee w/ the melted chocolate and butter using a spatula. It will look sort of grainy.
  7. Whisk eggs into the mix, one at a time w/ a hand whisk (or even the same spatual will do, it's just harder).
  8. Whisk in the vanilla.
  9. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into the chocolate mixture and mix together w/ the spatula until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  10. Place mix into prepared pan, leveling w/ spatula.
  11. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the chocolate mix. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup and lightly press the nuts into the mix, but not too much so that they don't get buried into the mix.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 25 will yield very fudgy brownies, 30 will be cakey.