Nutella Brownie Cups

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My flatmate told me that these were one of his favourite things that I’ve ever baked — he’s eaten a lot of my baking. I’m almost tempted to agree with him and I know already these will make it into my favourite recipes of 2015. Another flatmate asked me for the recipe, which I always take as a real compliment. I invented these in honour of World Nutella Day which was last week. So they are a little bit belated, but they are by no means any less delicious.

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My inspiration for this came from some cookies that a friend brought over once for a party. They were chocolate cookies with a gooey Nutella centre. I decided I didn’t fancy making stuffed cookies (I’ve made them before — delicious but very tedious) and so fell back on my go to brownie recipe. However, bars stuffed with Nutella wouldn’t work so I wondered if I could bake them in a muffin tin like two-bite brownies from the supermarket. I quickly googled this and saw that, yes indeed, I could bake brownies in muffin tins (my main worry was that they would stick the tin and be impossible to remove neatly). Thankfully Google images proved me wrong. Whilst I was imaging just how good Nutella stuffed brownies would taste, it popped into my head that the only way to make Nutella better was to eat in the form of a Fererro Rocher – a crispy exterior, creamy smooth Nutella centre, and a hazelnut core. So I decided to “glue” a Ferrero Rocher to the top of each brownie cup. It adds both visual interest for the eye and textural interest for the tongue. Win!

Although this could become my new favourite recipe, it is by no means complicated. The brownies are ridiculously simple to make; they take almost no time to cook; and they are infinitely transportable (take them with you on your next outing if you want to impress or make lots of new friends!). Last weekend, I made some simple chocolate chip brownies as dessert but I accidentally overbaked them. My oven runs quite hot and I routinely forget this. So unless I’m extra vigilant in checking early and often for doneness, it’s easy to keep my cakes/brownies/cookies in their for just a bit too long. However, with these brownies, I was determined not to repeat my folly of last weekend. I checked them at 10 minutes and decided that they just needed a few more minutes. At 12 minutes in the oven, they are perfect – soft and gooey, but not raw and sticky. The Nutella remained a discrete pocket as well – I was curious to see if it would hold its shape or if it would melt into the batter during baking.

Overall, all I can say is please, please go out and make these. They are super easy. They are super moreish. They are super quality-of-life enhancing.

Happy Baking!

 

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Nutella Brownie Cups

Ingredients:

  • 200g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 200g white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A big jar of Nutella (preferably chilled)
  • 12 Ferrero Rocher
  • ~30g plain chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Melt together the dark chocolate and butter either in the microwave (heat in 20-30 sec intervals, stirring frequently) or in a heatproof dish over a waterpath. Set aside.
  3. With a wire whisk in a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar until light and frothy. The mixture should be able to coat the back of a spoon easily. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and fold until it becomes wonderfully glossy and thick.
  5. Add the flour and salt and fold together until just mixed together – this should be done is less than ~25 strokes with the spatula. Do not overmix.
  6. Half fill the buttered muffin cups with brownie batter. Add a 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of Nutella into the centre of each cup. My Nutella was very cold (cold student house..) so I was able to roll them into little balls. Cover each of the little Nutella morsels by dividing the remaining batter equally amongst the muffin cups.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven 10-13 minutes. Mine were perfect at 12 minutes, but my oven runs hot. They are done when a tooth pick inserted comes out with a few most crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Once the brownies are completely cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen and carefully remove from the muffin tin.
  9. Melt the plain chocolate in the microwave, heating in intervals of around 20-30 sec and stirring frequently. When completely melted, dip the bottoms of the (unwrapped!) Ferrero Rocher into the chocolate and place on top of the brownie cup. Leave to set (you can speed up this process by putting them in the fridge). This will “glue” the Ferrero Rocher to the top of the brownie cup. Feed the leftover chocolate to your flatmates. Et voila! Devour.

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