Decadent malted brownies

There are a lot of things I crave living overseas. Bacon comes out on top, but I also miss crunchy peanut butter and these little guys – brownies.

The concept of coffee shops and American style bakeries are utterly foreign in country Tuscany, so most Italians have never had the pleasure of trying a brownie. Heck, most of them haven’t even tried Ben and Jerry’s!

I’m not the world’s best baker, so when I share a recipe with you guys it’s because I’ve mastered it. And this brownie recipe is a killer. It combines dark and milk chocolate pieces with chocolate Nesquik and cacao for one hell of a candy high. When it comes to the great brownie debate, I like mine to be fudgy, rich and gooey on the inside, but if you prefer a more cake-like treat, just bake these babies a little longer.

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One of expat life’s greatest joys in exposing the natives to the decadent and deadly pleasures of gluttony. I shared these brownies with Giulio and a few friends and they ate the entire tin before I could stop them. Now they crave brownies almost as much as I do!

Roasted salted almonds are the perfect complement to the headiness of all that chocolate, but you can pick and mix your combination. I made these with raspberry nougat once. Another time I added salted caramel and freeze dried bananas. My beloved peanut butter would go down a treat, so would dried cherries or cranberries with white chocolate in the place of dark!

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INGREDIENTS

120g roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped
250g butter, coarsely chopped
250g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
270g brown sugar
4 eggs
170g plain flour
40g cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
60g chocolate Nesquik or hot chocolate mix
150g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line your brownie tin.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate. I do this in the microwave even though you’re not supposed to. I can’t be bothered getting a pot of water boiling. As a seasoned chocolate burner, the trick is to zap it for a few seconds, stir and then zap for another few seconds until it’s melted. Add the sugar and the eggs one at a time.

Sieve over the flour, cocoa, baking powder and Nesquik. Stir until just combined then add the almonds and chocolate. Bake for 45 minutes until set, but still fudgy in the middle.

The brownies will happily sit on the counter for up to 5 days, if they last that long!

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