I am a sucker for chocolate brownies, which is probably (definitely) why I’m constantly developing new varieties. This recipe is one I’m particularly pleased with; the balance of sweet, nutty and salty flavours is just right and the crunchy hazelnut rye topping is a welcome contrast to the fudgy brownie centre. It’s worth noting I now use browned butter and rye flour as standard in my brownies; the depth of flavour and savoury note is unrivalled (in my humble opinion).
For the crumble
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100g rye flour
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g light brown soft sugar
- generous pinch sea salt
For the brownie
- 150g 80% dark chocolate
- 100g 70% dark chocolate
- 250g unsalted butter
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 100g dark brown soft sugar
- 75g caster sugar
- 100g rye flour
- 75g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 75g white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 75g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180c and line a baking tray. Place all the crumble ingredients, except the hazelnuts, in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly in consistency (a few clumps is fine- in fact this just adds more texture to the finished brownies). Stir the hazelnuts through, tip onto the lined tray and spread out in one even layer. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then pop straight into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until slightly golden and starting to crisp. Set aside.
- Now start on the brownies. Line a brownie tray (mine is around 9×9 inches) with baking paper. Roughly chop the dark chocolate and tip into a large heatproof bowl. Cube the butter and pop it into a saucepan. Gently heat until foaming, nutty and starting to brown on the bottom, then pour all over the chocolate. Let it sit for a moment, then stir until smooth and glossy.
- Place the eggs, yolk and sugars in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment). Beat until very light, voluminous and pale in colour, then fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the rye flour and salt. Finally, stir in the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts. Scrape the batter into the lined brownie tray and finish by sprinkling the crumble all over the surface.
- Bake for 25-35minutes, or until the top is set but a very faint wobble remains in the centre. Leave to cool completely then slice up and serve.