Happy New Year!
In the Philippines, there’s a common superstition that what you’re doing and how you’re feeling on New Year’s Eve are predictive of what you’ll be doing and how you’ll be feeling for the rest of the year.
If that’s true, then it looks like my 2014 will be sweet – I spent New Year’s Eve feeling happy and content, surrounded by the warmth of my family, eating some of my favorite foods, and licking sticky Nutella frosting from my fingers.
I made fudgy dark chocolate brownies with a sweet Nutella frosting – the brownie base is rich and dense, while the frosting is almost like melted fudge. It’s hard not to like it, and it’s easy to make!
I adapted the brownie base from one of my favorite bloggers, Averie, who also leans towards easy, one-bowl, no mixer-required recipes. I used a dark chocolate cocoa powder that I bought from one of the specialty gourmet stores here in Manila, and the resulting brownie batter had a deep dark chocolate intensity.
I wanted to offset the almost bittersweet brownie with a sweet frosting, so I whipped up an easy Nutella frosting that’s made even sweeter by condensed milk and made even silkier by butter. The frosting is done in the microwave, which makes it dangerously easy.
The Nutella frosting is thick and because I made it here in Manila where the weather is always 90 F, it is also a little melty – the better for it to drip over the sides of the brownies. However after just a minute or so, it will develop a soft, almost crackly shell. And while the brownies are wonderful while still warm from the oven (or the weather), I like it chilled and straight from the fridge (like these Decadent Dark Chocolate Flourless Brownies).
Brownies with Nutella Frosting
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks), melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons espresso
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Make the brownie base. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high heat, about 50 seconds. Add in sugar, eggs, espresso, and vanilla extract. Mix well, then stir in cocoa powder and salt. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in flour, and mix gently until just combined.
- Spread brownie batter in a buttered 8x8 pan. Bake 22-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in brownie comes out clean.
- Make the frosting. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the Nutella, condensed milk, and butter. Heat on high for 30 seconds, and stir. Heat for another 30 seconds, and stir until smooth. Spread frosting on top of brownie.
- Let cool completely, or better yet, chill in the fridge before slicing and serving.
I’m sure that most of us have the usual resolutions of eating healthier, but I couldn’t resist starting the year with this! After all, what better way to welcome in 2014 than with chocolate and Nutella? Wishing you all a sweet 2014!