2-Ingredient Nutella Brownies

I’m a big fan of 2-3-4-5 ingredient recipes. The ones which proclaim, right at the beginning, that they are by nature uncomplicated; you don’t need to go shopping for a long list of ingredients. It’s convenient. Now don’t get me wrong- I don’t like the Sandra Lee style of cooking- that semi-homemade stuff is just sinister. But I like using pantry staples like anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, tortillas and marmalade to create a meal.

Anyway back to the 2-ingredient recipe. I’m a fan of The Kitchn’s One-Ingredient Ice Cream, so when I came across this 2-ingredient brownie recipe I clicked right away.

I think we can all agree that Nutella is a great pantry staple to have on hand when you are pressed for dessert. (Or breakfast, or a snack.)  And if you want to bake something really good, really fast, without a lot of mise-en-place (you know, measuring out your flour-butter-sugar-baking powder-toasted nuts-what have you,) then this is the recipe you reach for: just eggs and Nutella combined deftly to create a rich, fudgy brownie in minutes.

 

Eggs: Whisk, fiercely.

Nutella: Heat in microwave; fold into eggs.

Bake.

I just did a brownie-baking haiku!

I know you don’t need another brownie recipe. And I know you don’t need another food blogger telling you that these brownies in particular, are the best. But if you are on the  “fudgy brownie” side of The Great Brownie Divide, (cakey vs fudgy,) then this gives you a fudgy brownie that is pretty darn good. Lovely crust, moist centre and easy to cut through. It’s so very simple that it’s hard to believe that just 2 ingredients can create such richness!

THE KITCHN’s 2-INGREDIENT NUTELLA BROWNIES (From The Kitchn.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup Nutella (slightly less than the 370 g/13 oz jars you get in the supermarket)

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 175 c
  • Line the baking dish with enough parchment so that the paper hangs over the sides, it will be easier to pull the brownies out.
  • In the bowl of a freestanding mixer or by using a handheld mixer, whisk all 4 eggs. Begin on a low speed and increase it to high gradually.
  • Whisk until the eggs triple in bulk and turn a billowy yellow. (This takes from 6-8 minutes.)
  • While the eggs are whisking, warm the Nutella in the microwave in short bursts, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until the Nutella is loose and pourable.
  • Fold the Nutella one spoon at a time into the egg mixture, until everything is evenly combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake 25-30 minutes.
  • Cool completely before cutting.
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Healthy Dessert Experiment: Flourless Fruit Crumble

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Crumbles are one of my favourite desserts. A great example of how a little goes a long way: fruit + a few other ingredients, put together in a way that transforms everything into a warm happy mess 😀 And I’ve realized they can be real crowd pleasers, too. I think the humble crumble- and her many cousins- are uncomplicated, forgiving desserts that won’t let you down.

Yeah. I really feel for crumble. Is it strange to have feelings for a dessert?

Hmmm…I’ve come this far, so I might as well take the liberty to ramble a little longer. Here are 5 more reasons why I think you absolutely must involve crumbles in your dessert routine.

  • Crispy on top + juicy and melting beneath.
  • No fancy baking equipment required. No whisking. No whipping. You don’t even need a fork!
  • You can serve them individually.
  • It takes less time to assemble than a pie or a cake.
  • You can make them with any kind of fruit! (Ok, perhaps not with watermelon. We’d best leave those for juices, smoothies or as they are. But has anyone had a watermelon crumble? Let me know.)

This *healthy* crumble came about as a way to use up leftover almond meal and Granny Smith apples. I usually make my crumble topping with some butter, sugar, flour and oats, but I thought Hey! Almond meal. Why not? And if you have a guest, friend or anybody who eats gluten-free, then this crumble is the way to go. (I pulse my own almond meal with the skin on, FYI.)

The flourless stone fruit crumble from It's All Good image courtesy  | www.self.com

Flourless stone fruit crumble from It’s All Good
image courtesy | http://www.self.com

The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Flourless Anything Crumble recipe from It’s All Good. In it, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen came up with a vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free crumble recipe, for any kind of stone fruit. I didn’t go the vegan or sugar-free route, just opted for the use of almond meal instead of flour. You could easily stick to the healthier option as outlined in the book: leave out the butter, swap the oats for quinoa flakes, and sub the granulated sugar for a combination of maple syrup + brown rice syrup. (Quinoa flakes and brown rice syrup are things I will probably not buy. Like ever. So I just converted the healthy recipe into a with-sugar, with-dairy version.)

 

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FLOURLESS APPLE CRUMBLE (Adapted from It’s All Good.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar+ 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold butter

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • In a bowl, toss the chopped apples with the lemon/lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon powder and set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the almond meal and 4 tablespoons granulated sugar until well combined.
  • Work the cold butter into the almond meal mixture with your fingers until it’s rubble-y and like wet sand.
  • Divide the chopped apples between individual ramekins.
  • Crumble the mixture over the fruit and bake until the top is browned, about 15-20 minutes. (Do check on your crumbles, since oven temperatures vary- I took mine out at 15, other ovens may need more or less time.)

 

Peanut Butter Poppers. You Can’t Stop At Just One. And Yes, They Are Better Than Pringles.

Remember the old Pringles ad? Once you pop…you can’t stop! Same goes for these babies.

I love peanut butter. I really do. I have loved it since kindergarten, when I used to take PBnJ sandwiches to school. And when I moved back to India, I was very disappointed- as saddened and melancholy as a ten-year-old could be- to encounter the peanut butter that was available in India then. I’m talking mid-1990s, in Kerala, no imported Skippy and Jif and American Garden; no home-grown Sundrop; only one brand called Prutina and it was very upsetting indeed. In taste, texture and packaging. 90’s kids from India, remember this?

photo courtesy | shop.bt

I mean, this stuff was so coarse, it would break toast. As in, if I tried to spread it on toast, the bread gave away beneath my butter knife.

But, since I was not a whiny kid, I just did without for years. And sparingly ate peanut butter every time someone would bring back a jar or two from abroad. Sheesh.

I missed peanut butter. I really did. It was like I left behind an old friend.

Anyway. Skip to today when we get all kinds of peanut butter in different flavours/jars/textures! I love it. I don’t care that I am in my late 20’s and still consume it like a kindergartener. Peanut butter is awesome. It may not be on the higher end of the phancy scale, like chocolate fondue or marzipan, but it’s still pretty darn good. And the only thing better than peanut butter in a sandwich is peanut butter BAKED. The chewy goodness and sheer delight of biting into a peanut butter cookie or brownie or cutting your spoon into chocolate and peanut butter pie…

This recipe for quick peanut butter cookies has been doing the rounds. I found it on The Patterned Plate first, which led me to the recipe at Gluten-Free Girl, and it was so easy, there was no way I could not try it. Plus, I had a brand new cake pops pan that I had been dying to use, and this seemed perfect for it. Instead of cookies, I could make little peanut butter cookie pops!! I thought it would be fun to make these cookies into little candylike balls which you could just pop in your mouth, one after another.

I used Sundrop Peanut butter, the creamy option. I have seen Sundrop peanut butter in stores, but I never bothered to pick it up, assuming it would not be that great. I’d head straight for imported Skippy and stick with that, even though it was the more expensive option of the two. But since I wanted to try this recipe as soon as I possibly could, I had to choose Sundrop since my neighbourhood grocer did not have Skippy in stock. And you know what? I am glad I did. Sundrop creamy peanut butter is pretty great. It is smooth, creamy, not overly sweet and spreads like a dream, without damaging crumbly soft bread. And priced at Rs 160 for a 462 gram jar, it is value for money too. (I read a positive review of Sundrop peanut butter in the July issue of BBC Good Food India, but they also add that there is a higher sodium content. I checked the label, and it is 118 mg for every 2 tablespoons, to be exact.)

I actually wanted crunchy, but my grocer didn’t have crunchy. So I added some rolled oats just to give it some texture. I have so much lying around, and I am always looking for ways to use it. I am not really big on oatmeal.

PEANUT BUTTER POPPERS (Adapted from Gluten Free Girl)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs (The original calls for just one egg; I used two because I was adding oats and felt that an extra egg would help bring everything together.)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup castor or white sugar, to roll the dough in

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and peanut butter.
  • Then add in the egg and baking powder and beat some more.
  • Add in the rolled oats and beat a little more.
  • You will get a sticky, slicky batter. I guess this may vary depending on the brand of peanut butter you use; but I got a really slick batter.
  • Roll into little balls with your hands, coat them in sugar, and place in a cake pop tray.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180C
  • Cool and serve!

Store in an airtight container. I reckon this can last for upto a week; but we finished ours in 3 days.

Chewy, crunchy around the edges and fast…you cannot stop at just one!!

My peanut butter poppers came out with a little caramelized sugary lace around the edges, giving the effect of a flying saucer. This would make a great party treat if your child is a sci-fi fan and wants to have an X-Files or alien-themed party. (Just a suggestion. Easier than making UFO shaped cupcakes, right?)

Sometimes, instant is most exceedingly good, C 🙂

Hope everyone is having a good week!