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Nutty Chocolate and Tonka Bean Brownie

BY Craig Hibbert

These brownies are chock full of nuts and are flavoured with tonka bean which has an aromatic vanilla-like flavour. Drizzle with 2 sauces for added decadence.


  • Prep Time : 1:30 hours |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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Chocolate Brownie
1½ C (375 ml) chocolate, chopped
½ C (125 ml) butter
1¼ C (310 ml) sugar
3 eggs
½ C (125 ml) flour
½ tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
pinch salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) walnuts
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pecan nuts
1 Tbsp (15 ml) macadamia
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cashew nuts
1 Tbsp (15 ml) peanuts
½ tsp (2.5 ml) grated tonka bean (use the seeds of one pod of vanilla as an alternative, or 5 ml of vanilla paste)

Caramel Sauce
4 tablespoon butter
1 C Demerara sugar (caramel sugar)
¾ C ( 180 ml) cream
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of salt

Chocolate Sauce
1 C (250 ml) water
½ C (125 ml) sugar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) cocoa powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cornflour
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
2 Tbsp (30 ml) dark chocolate (chopped)

Brownie
Preheat the oven to 160 ºC.

Place 1 C of chocolate (reserve the remaining 125 ml) and butter into the top section of a double boiler.

Place the egg and the sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until double in size (sabayon).

Fold in the melted chocolate mix.

Sieve the flour and baking powder and fold into the sabayon mix. Blitz the of all the nuts roughly and then chop up the ½ C of reserved chocolate and fold into the mixture. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased and lined baking tin. Bake for approximately 30 minutes (Tip: you will be able to tell that it’s done when it starts to crack on top, but still feels slightly soft).

Caramel Sauce
Place the cream into a small saucepan to scald. Carefully cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds; place the seeds and the pod into the cream and scald, take off the heat and leave to one side.

Meanwhile place the butter into a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Just before the butter has completely melted add the sugar all at once. Keep stirring for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. When the sugar looks a bit more liquid, add the cream and whisk (be careful as this will splatter.) Allow to cool.

Chocolate Sauce
Boil the water, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan on a medium heat.

Mix the remanding water with the cornflour. Once boiling, add the cornflour slurry and thicken – approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure that the cornflour and cocoa powder have been cooked out properly before taking off the heat. Once thickened, take off the heat and let it cool slightly, and then add the chopped up chocolate and stir until dissolved (tip: stir every now and then to stop it from catching on the bottom of the sauce pan).

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream with a drizzle of warm caramel and chocolate sauce.

If you need help with baking terms, check our Baking Glossary.