As fabulous as these brownies are, I hesitated to post them. Gianduja is a specialty item that I order online, and I don't know if I've ever seen it in a store. Definitely not at Safeway.
In the end I decided to share this recipe with you for one reason: it's very hard to find easy, quick recipes with gianduja that you and I can make. Pastry chefs and dedicated elite home bakers, plenty of recipes for them. People who want to throw a few things in a bowl and end up with a wonderful treat, nothing for us.
Gianduja is a confection made with hazelnuts and chocolate. If you like Nutella, you'll like gianduja. It has a creamier mouth feel than bar chocolate, and it's greasier when melted. The last recipe I made with it was these truffles. I think these brownies might even be better because they're easier and the gianduja stays in chunks, so you get brownie and then, pow, a nugget of gianduja.
A few tips:
- I cut each "bar" in half lengthwise, then each half in half again lengthwise, then cut the chunks from the four narrow pieces.
- Chunks the size of 3/4" dice are a good size, big enough to be detected but not so big that they stick out a lot.
- These definitely need to cool completely before eating so the gianduja can become solid again.
If these brownies make you want to get your own stash for munching and baking, I get gianduja at Chocosphere.com.
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups/10 oz sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup/5 oz all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces gianduja, chopped
Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment paper (or butter and flour the pan) and set aside. In a metal bowl, combine the butter, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolates and butter are melted and combined, then remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm, then stir in the sugar and the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated. Add the flour and the salt, stirring until just combined (a few flecks of flour are OK), then mix in the gianduja. Spread in the prepared pan pushing in any chunks that are lying on top, smooth the top and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering to it. Cool completely before cutting.