I haven’t baked or even cooked anything more complex than beans on toast for about a month due to the demands of my thesis. So it was nice to get back in the kitchen again. I still had over 500g of Nutella left after making this lovely cake and I saw a mouth-watering brownie recipe on Pinterest that inspired me. I decided to adapt my egg white only recipe because… Well, I just did. Here’s how they turned out.

These are rich and Nutella-y.

3/4cup unsalted butter (or use salted and halve the additional salt)
150g chocolate (I used 100g 70% and the rest milk)
2tsps vanilla extract
1tsp espresso powder/instant coffee (optional)
1/2tsp salt
1 1/4cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (can be substituted with more flour)
1 cup hazelnuts (optional)
About 1 cup/150g Nutella

Makes 16 brownies.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C
Lightly butter a 20x20cm (8x8inch) baking tray, ideally loose-bottomed. Sprinkle with flour or cocoa powder and shake to coat evenly.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat
Remove from heat, stir in chopped chocolate until melted, then add vanilla, coffee and salt
Cool until lukewarm
Meanwhile, mix the sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and mix with a hand blender for around 4-5 minutes until the mixture is somewhat thickened
Add the lukewarm buttery chocolate mixture incorporate.
Add the flour and ground almonds and mix for another minute, until incorporated. Because there isn’t much flour in this batter, it’s important to beat the flour for this amount of time to activate the gluten and give the cake its structure.
Don’t worry if the mixture seems incredibly thick.
Stir through your additional chocolate and/or nuts if using.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Dollop 4-6 large tablespoons of Nutella on top and gently swirl into the batter

Turn the oven down to 170 and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Your brownies are done if….
…the top is shiny and cracked (it will rise up, but sink down again as it cools)

…the edges are cracking and may be beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan

…there is no jiggle in the centre if you shake the pan (but this should take place about 10mins before the brownies are fully cooked

…a skewer shows moist crumbs

Remove from tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting. Yum.