These individual brownies are gooey and decadent and the hazelnut addition may remind you of the popular chocolate hazelnut spread. But why stop there? These desserts are baked with a cocoa meringue layer on top, taking brownies to new heights.

Serves
4

Skill level

Mid
By
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Ingredients

Brownie

  • 120 g (4 oz) dark baking or couverture chocolate chopped
  • 75 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1½ tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (30 g) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1½ tbsp coarsely ground toasted and peeled hazelnuts

 

Cocoa Meringue

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (36 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (36 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ tbsp coarsely ground toasted and peeled hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) (See Note)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).  Lightly grease four 150 g (5 oz) ramekins and place them on a baking tray.

2. For the brownie, melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring gently until smooth.  Remove from the heat.

3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla by hand vigorously until the mixture turns thick and butter-coloured, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate (still warm is okay) and then stir in the cocoa powder and hazelnuts.  Divide this between the ramekins and spread to level, if needed.

4. For the meringue, whip the egg whites using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment at high speed until foamy (you can do this by hand, but it takes a while!). Add the granulated and brown sugars and whip until the whites hold a soft peak when the beaters are lifted. Whisk in the hazelnuts, cocoa powder, cornfour and vinegar. Dollop the meringue on top of the brownie base in each ramekin.

5. Bake the brownies for 14-16 minutes, until the meringue domes up and just begins to crack slightly.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (don’t wait too long…the meringue will shrink down when completely cooled).

 

Note

• Use a gluten-free cornflour to make these gluten-free. 

• You can make the brownie base and chill the ramekins ahead of time, but the meringue should be prepared right before baking.