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Its been a flurry of activities and a crazy hectic past few weeks. I don’t even remember what I had for dinner on Monday! To top it off, I’m still recovering from my cold. The next couple of weeks will be even crazier and I’m not looking forward to having to travel under 2 hours each way for work. Ahhh the joys of living and working in London.

Anyhoo…..I had dinner with friends last Sunday and offered to bring dessert. I immediately thought of cake. But I have a cake decorating class this Sunday (woohoo!!!!!) and have to bake cupcakes to bring along for my class. After scrolling through my list of “to make desserts”, I decided on brownies. I was immediately reminded of what I made in March…

I don’t know if it’s an American thing, but when you have brownies, you have to have ice cream. It’s like a crime not to have ice cream with brownies. So that reminded me of my sister’s gorgeous handmade ice cream!! I am in awe of her ice cream making skills. She makes the yummiest ice cream, bagel sandwiches and clam pasta ever! And so, so, so much more. No one else can make me eat bagel except my sister.

The brownies above? They weren’t the best of brownies and so I tried a different recipe this time. I was thrilled with the results!! The brownies turned out to be absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to make them again. How can you say no to double chocolate? We warmed up the brownies and had them with some yummy vanilla ice cream. Heavenly :)

Hazelnut Fudge Brownies
~100g bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules, optional
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
113 g unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hazelnuts or other nuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 180ºC and grease an 8-inch square brownie pan.
Measure out 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips and set aside. Sift flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt; set aside.
Add remaining chocolate chips to a medium bowl with the butter. Melt in microwave for 60 to 90 seconds until chocolate and butter are melted. Add the vanilla extract to the bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
Add the eggs and sugar into a clean, large bowl. Whisk until thick and pale yellow. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and remaining chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle chopped nuts over top, if using, and press very gently into the batter. Bake for 30 minutes until center is set and edges gently pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting.

I just LOVE having the nuts on top and the chocolate chips in the middle. They give the brownies so much texture and flavor. I would probably use a smaller pan in future though, I had to spread out the batter to fill the pan and I didn’t really get the height I would have liked with the brownies. Try it!!! I promise you won’t be disappointed. I definitely will make more, especially if I’m going to get through my Bill Bryson book. And Lord knows I need lots of brownies to help with my reading.