Mocha Hazelnut Brownies
Adapted from The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: at least 30 minutes
Makes 24 - 32 pieces (depending on how big you cut them)
¾ cup hazelnuts
2 oz/56g bittersweet chocolate, cut in 4 pieces (just to melt faster)
½ cup whole-grain pastry flour (I used whole wheat and it was fine)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp instant espresso powder
½ cup trans-fat free margarine
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar substitute (I use Splenda)
2 large eggs
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350°F/180°C. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until fragrant – about 8-10 minutes. Let them cool over a strainer and then vigorously rub them to remove the skins. Once the nuts are cool, coarsely chop them and set aside.
2. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler (I make my own by putting a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan with 1-2” of water simmering at medium heat. The indirect heat melts the chocolate without burning it. Whisk while it melts – it only takes a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and espresso. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, beat the margarine and vanilla until creamy. Add the sugar substitute and continue to beat at high speed until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and beat until well blended. Sir in the flour mixture, chocolate, and chocolate chips and nuts and blend well.
5. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8”x8” baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F/180°C until a tester comes out clean (about 20 minutes). While the brownies are baking you will notice the margarine bubbling around and on top of the brownies. Don’t panic, it really ends up being absorbed and not greasy at all.
6. Cool on a rack in the pan until the brownies are completely cool and then cut them into squares. The book recommends 1” squares – it will make 32 pieces.
Related links: Food and Drink recipes South Beach Diet dessert