“In the early nineteenth century,” wrote author Carole Bloom in Gourmet magazine in 1998, “naval blockades imposed by the English against Napoleon sharply curtailed the cacao supplies arriving to continental Europe from the Americas. To avoid using too much of the now-scarce ingredient, the confectioners of Piedmont (then under French occupation) added finely ground hazelnuts to their chocolate.” What resulted was gianduia (zhahn-doo-yah) and the world has been a vastly lovelier place ever since. Gourmet went on to assert that these are the best brownies you’ll ever taste. Suffice it to say, we can’t imagine anyone turning away one of these moist, nutty, fudgy brownies.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- 1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 oz) hazelnuts
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (not unsweetened)
- 3 ounces milk chocolate
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1/4 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line it with 2 crisscrossed sheets of aluminum foil, allowing the excess to hang out over the edges. Butter the foil and dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess flour.
- Bake the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the nuts are lightly colored and the skins are blistered. Immediately dump the nuts in a kitchen towel, fold the towel over the top, and let them sit and steam for 1 minute. Then rub them in the towel to remove the loose skins. Cool completely.
- In a food processor, pulse the cooled hazelnuts until coarsely ground (the bits should be about 1/8 inch in diameter).
- Chop the different types of chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter and Nutella, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat.
- While the chocolate is melting, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Add the eggs, whisking until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and the hazelnuts until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering to it.
☞ TESTER TIP: Be careful to not overbake the brownies or they’ll be a little on the crumbly side of things.
- Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack and cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, layered between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container at cool room temperature, for up to 5 days.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
If you love Nutella, then these gianduia brownies are for you. I’ve been making these brownies since I first saw them in Gourmet magazine. These are my go-to brownie when I want something special without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It takes a little time between toasting the nuts and melting the chocolate, but these are well worth the effort.
I always take one brownie and hide it so I can make a special one for myself the next day—I like to spread it with more Nutella, some chopped hazelnuts, and a few mini chocolate chips and pop it back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Then I put it in the refrigerator for a little bit to harden. It’s over the top and so decadent, but well worth the little extra time.
These gianduia brownies have a nice, almost crisp-like exterior and soft cake-y interior when fresh out of the oven and just cooled. Mine were almost a cross between a dense cake and a brownie without being too sweet. They have a great chocolate-y flavor that’s nicely complemented by the hazelnuts and Nutella.
If you want to dress these up for a sweet tooth, you can spread extra Nutella over the brownies, either individually or before cutting. My designated taster took these to work, and they received great reviews.
All of the skins didn’t come off of the hazelnuts after toasting, but the brownies still turned out fine. Next time, I’ll avoid going too far past the maximum bake time. I went 42 minutes, and unless you know your oven (I’m still getting used to mine), they can get a little dry-ish and soft-crumbly if overbaked.
We’re fans of Nutella here. I always have a jar on-hand, so I knew I had to try this recipe. Nothing complicated here, and you end up with delicious results. The only issue I had with this recipe is that I don’t see the need to butter the pan when you’re going to line it with aluminum foil. Anyhow, we couldn’t wait for the pan to completely cool since we’re all fans of warm brownies, and these didn’t disappoint. They’re delicious both warm and cooled.
These gianduia brownies taste like they have Ferrero Rocher in them. They’re quite delicious, with the perfect blend of hazelnut and chocolate. They were quick and easy to make, and we loved the bits of hazelnut throughout the brownie.
They were a little on the dry and crumbly side. (Perhaps I blitzed the hazelnuts a bit too long.) In making these again, I might use only 1/4 cup of flour to see if that makes a difference in the moistness of the finished product. Otherwise, delicious.
I was lucky to have found some new-on-the-market packages of coarse-chopped toasted hazelnuts in my grocery store, which made it much easier to make these gianduia brownies. I liked the combination of chocolates and Nutella, and they had just the right amount of sweetness—they weren’t overly sweet as some brownies can be. The results were delicious and right up there in the top few best brownies I’ve ever had.
This was a nice twist on a basic saucepan brownie and, aside from skinning the nuts, not much harder. Although subtle, the hazelnut flavor is very nice with the chocolate, and the brownies came out well enough that I felt I could serve them to company.
Perhaps they could have been baked a few minutes less. I baked them for the minimum time in a metal 8-inch pan, so I was surprised to find them done at the minimum time. I feel like I could have taken them out a few minutes earlier. Skinning the nuts is really a nuisance, so I recommend buying pre-skinned hazelnuts and just toasting them before chopping. Having to peel them would definitely prevent me from making this recipe again.
These gianduia brownies are full of hazelnut flavor, giving the satisfaction of eating Nutella straight from the jar. It’s important not to overbake them—I gave them 45 minutes and they came out a little dry, so err on the side of underbaking. I also found that steaming the hazelnuts for a little longer made it easier to remove the skins—just two minutes instead of one made a difference.
Moist, delicious, not too sweet, different—this is what my testers said about these unusual and tasty brownies. Everyone loved them because they were made with hazelnuts as opposed to the often-called-for walnuts. After so much praise, I’ll be making another batch for my next holiday party.
If you love Nutella (and who doesn’t?), you’re bound to love these brownies. I made a couple of slight changes to the procedure (I melted the chocolate mixture in the microwave and lined the pan with parchment paper instead of aluminum foil), and I only had an 8-inch pan. These brownies are rich and chocolate-y, with that hazelnut-y depth. Yum. One caveat: When kept at room temperature, they’re a bit crumbly. Stored in the refrigerator they’re cold, fudgy, and hold their shape.
These Nutella brownies were incredibly easy to make, and they came out buttery and full of complex flavor from the combination of the hazelnuts and chocolate. I served them at a small party, and everyone loved them. The one suggestion I’d make would be to cut the stick of butter into pieces before melting it with the chocolate, so it will melt more evenly. All of my chocolate had melted, but I still had a big block of butter in the pan. Also, the brownies only took 25 minutes to bake, not 35 to 40.