Introduction: Hazelnut and Almond Nougat Chocolate Brownies (With a Secret)

Ingredients:

185g Unsalted butter cut into cubes

185g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)

85g Plain flour

40g Cocoa Powder

3 Large eggs

175g Golden Caster sugar

75g Almond Nougat (I got mine from a pick ‘n Mix Sweet shop)

25g whole hazelnuts (chopped)

(optional) 4 or more Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Put the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt over a small saucepan about a quarter full of hot water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Use a low heat and melt the butter and chocolate together. Put to one side to cool.

Cut the almond nougat into small chunks and chop the hazelnuts into rough pieces.

Turn the oven on to heat fan160C/180C/Gas 4.

Use a 20cm square tin and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.

Sieve together the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.

Break the eggs into a bowl of a stand mixer or use a hand held mixer. Add the caster sugar and whisk together on maximum speed for about 5-8 minutes until the mixture is thick, pale and creamy and double the size. Check the batter leaves a trail when a little is allowed to settle on the surface.

Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Fold together with a rubber spatula. Be gentle but thorough. Keep the air in the mixture.

Sieve in the flour and cocoa mixture and gently incorporate them with the chocolate mixture. Be careful again and use a spatula attachment on the stand mixer if you have one.

Add in half of the nougat pieces and half of the hazelnut chunks. Mix carefully in.

Pour the mixture into the tin and level off. If you are going to add the Ferrero Rochers do it now. Push them gently into the mixture and cover over with some of the chocolate mix so they do not burn. The mixture will rise up around them.

Top with the rest of the chopped nougat and hazelnuts.

Put in the oven for 25 minutes and then check. It will probably wobble in the middle and will need another 5 minutes or more.

I cooked for another 10 minutes in all. They are ready when the top is set and the sides are coming away from the tin a little. You can also check with a clean skewer to see if it comes out clean.

Leave in the tin to cool and then lift out and cut into squares. The very lucky ones will have a Ferrero chocolate in their piece. These are the nuts hidden by the secret squirrels.

Makes approx. 12 Brownies.

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