Squidgy Chocolate And Hazlenut Brownies

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Anna

Taken from The Goodness of: Avocado by Lucy Jessop. Picture by Clare Winfield.

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Unctuous, squidgy and super chocolatey, these brownies taste anything but healthy. I won’t pretend they are completely virtuous, but using avocado instead of butter reduces the saturated fat content (and overall calories), making these brownies less guilt inducing than the traditional variety. It also makes them a winner for anyone who is lactose intolerant. Share them with friends or family alongside a big pot of tea.

Serves 12–16
100g blanched hazelnuts
150g good-quality dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids; check it's dairy-free), chopped
50g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
3 medium eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium-large ripe avocado (about 175g flesh)
100g self-raising flour
25g good-quality cocoa powder (check it's dairy-free)
Sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square brownie tin with greaseproof paper. Spread the hazelnuts out in a large roasting tin and bake for 6–8 minutes until toasted. Set aside to cool then roughly chop. Melt 100g of chocolate and the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, whizz together the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a food-processor until combined. Add the avocado flesh and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add the cooled chocolate mixture, sift in the flour and cocoa, add a pinch of salt, then whisk everything together. Fold in most of the chopped hazelnuts and the remaining chocolate.
3. Spoon into the brownie tin and level. Scatter over the remaining chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 20–25 minutes until just firm to the touch. Cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares. These are also delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream for dessert, if you can eat dairy. The cooled brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.