You may be able to find everything you need on the internet, but nothing beats finding what you need close to home. Read below for a wonderful brownie recipe that includes hazelnut gianduja (recipe also provided below). I learned to make the gianduja while taking a cooking class at a fabulous local chocolate shop.
There is a satisfaction in buying local that cannot be replicated when buying goods online. So you can imagine my joy in discovering a new chocolate shop here in Manchester, NH. Not only does Dancing Lion Chocolate make an array of truly unique chocolate offerings including truffles, bars, brownies and drinks, but they also offer classes for aspiring chocolatiers. The classes are intimately held in the shop kitchen, where you can watch master chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy in his element.
Earlier this month my husband and I had the pleasure of joining a gianduja class in Dancing Lion’s clean and stainless steel appointed kitchen (see image below). Gianduja is the general name given to a mixture of chocolate, sugar, and nuts. No more, no less. Yum! While gianduja can simply be enjoyed as is, it is also great for baking since it will not burn as easily as pure chocolate. I have taken what Rich taught us about gianduja and incorporated it into a favorite brownie recipe of mine. I hope that you find the occasion to try it out and write about your experience with the recipe in the comments section here on the blog. You will not be disappointed.
I have also adjusted the ingredients for those of us that do not have specialty food processors. You can grind your own nuts in a regular food processor. It will affect the texture of the gianduja, but the final product will still be great. I used roasted hazelnut flour which can be purchased from King Arthur Flour.
10.5 oz dark chocolate ( ~65%)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup chopped hazel nuts
3 oz superfine sugar
3 oz roasted hazelnut flour (Rich showed us how to grind real hazelnuts into a flour like substance with a food processor, which is even better if you have a processor)
3 oz dark chocolate (~65%)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8″x10″ baking pan or line with parchment paper.
2. Beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until completely mixed.
3. Melt the 10.5 oz of chocolate for the brownie base in the microwave. Microwave the chocolate in 30-45 second increments, stirring after each interval. Continue until the chocolate is just melted. Do not burn the chocolate since burned chocolate tastes very bitter! Add room temperature butter and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
4. Melt the 3 oz of chocolate for the gianduja in the same way as above. Mix in hazelnut flour and sugar. Stir until mixed completely. Set aside.
5. Gently add in the brownie base chocolate mixture from step 3 to the egg mixture (from step 2) until evenly mixed.
6. Add the chopped hazelnuts and white flour, mixing until completely smooth.
7. Pour a bit less than half the mixture into the baking pan. Use your fingers to place small pieces or the gianduja mixture on top, distributing in an even layer. Pour the remaining brownie base mix over the gianduja layer. Use a knife to spread evenly if needed.
8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
9. Let cool slightly. Cut, serve and enjoy!