It feels like winter again tonight and I have this all consuming tiredness eating away at me. The kind of exhaustion you can feel all the way down to your marrow. There's no blues, or sorrow or melancholy. Just bone weary tiredness. For once things have been calm in my head, and it is no small task keeping it that way. I have really terrible sleeping habits. All those nights, up down up down in bed, out of bed, going constantly through the litany of tasks and lists and anxieties and ideas - it catches up on you and its not really a surprise when you feel like you could close your eyes and not open them again for a year. But before I give in entirely to sleep tonight I had to make something. Its an odd sense of guilt I can carry if I go the day without creating something. Arent we humans strange sometimes?
Its raining and blowing a gale outside - perfect brownie creating (and gorging) conditions. These are dense and rich, not to sweet, a good balance of cakey and fudgy for those who arent always sure which they prefer. A crunchy top with swirls of nutella. served with cinnamon infused warm milk its a perfect midnight snack or pre bedtime snack to help lull you into a dreamscape.
NUTELLA SWIRL BROWNIES
- 60 grams (a scant 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 200 grams (1-2/3 cups, roughly chopped) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 300 grams (1-1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 250 grams (2 4-oz. sticks plus 2 T) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 2 Tablespoons nutella
- Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft, creamy, and a bit airy. Add the lightly beaten eggs a little at a time, incorporating them fully between each pour. Mix in the melted chocolate. Finally, fold in the flour mixture gently but firmly.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The brownie will be a bit jiggly when it comes out of the oven, but the top should have puffed slightly, and a toothpick stuck through the middle should come out sticky but without raw batter attached.
- Cool for an hour, during which the brownie will solidify more fully. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Adapted from Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries