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Thursday 30 June 2011

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownie Torte

I think chocolate doesn't need much styling. You want this.

Well, the jet lag has set in. Not delicious.

I have been thinking about what to write for you tonight for a while, and most of what I have come up with in my tired and cranky state wouldn't really be considered suitable for a blog post.

I thought about telling you how sorry how I am to have been away for so long, but I didn't think you'd want to hear my excuses. I know you know I am a slacker. And it would go against my new policy of trying to stop beginning every post with a 'Sorry I've not been posting much recently...' rehash.

Then, I wanted to tell you about this ridiculous situation that occurred at work, but to do so would go against my policy of ensuring other people's privacy (which is devastating: it was truly hilarious, and I know how much people love airline stories).

Next, I thought about telling you about this creepy experience I had recently with a taxi driver who tried to pick me up (in the figurative sense: he did actually take me to the station) at about 5am in the morning, but that would go against the very same policy. (And the 'No Defamation' policy I sometimes - sometimes - operate under.) Plus, making a connection between a chocolate brownie torte and an awkward and difficult situation I didn't relish might make you feel like you wouldn't want to make said torte. And you should.

(Don't get your hopes up by the way. This is a torte in the sense of 'I made brownies in a round pan.' It's delicious, but not fancy.)

So, given that I seem so restricted by my own self-inflicted rules, I thought I'd tell you about my policy on chocolate cake (for this is a chocolate torte after all). It is to say no.

You have read correctly.

When I was on that TV show (which we don't speak about - another of my policies), the researchers were shocked when I said I thought chocolate cake was boring, and possibly the worst desert ever. But it is true. I'd almost always rather have something else, even if it were something lame like a fruit salad.

Well, maybe not a fruit salad; I mean, come on. But the fact remains: chocolate is overdone.

You know, before we talk more torte, and why exactly I went against my own policy in making it (spoiler: it was quick and easy, and I was tired and short of time), I think I'd like to tell you some more of my policies in life.

I may say 'no' to chocolate cake, but I never say it to Champagne. Ever. Lily Bollinger had it right.

I never say 'no' to moisturiser, and am currently a fan of the little blue tub. Yes, that one. Call me low rent, but it's the perfect night cream and more the fool you if you pay more. (Sorry Elemis - I still love you).

That's all I can think of right now. I am jet lagged after all. Maybe you have some better ideas you can share.

Anyway, the chocolate. Well, we had people to stay at relatively short notice, and macarons were out of the question. Plus, most of the world seems to be of the opinion that to say 'no' to chocolate cake is madness, so I knew I would please the crowd.

Apologies for duplicating a brownie recipe you've already had, but that's how this cookie is crumbling today. Brownies, btw, are really forgiving, and can be made with pretty much whatever flour you have on hand. So if you only have self-raising in the house, or even bread flour (makes a great, chewy brownie), you can still pull this off.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownie Torte

You will need:

1 batch of brownies, made from this recipe and baked in a 20cm round tin (leave out the spices)
1/2 cup Nutella
a handful of hazelnuts to decorate

  1. I think it's pretty obvious what I did here, but for those who disagree: bake the brownies, then cool and remove from the pan without slicing.
  2. Ice with Nutella.
  3. Decorate with the nuts.


  1. i forgive you for being away for so long because of this genius post... I never liked chocolate cake as a kid and now i'm not that keen unless its layered with fruit... I think the combo of chocolate, cream and fruit is god enough to at least try on occasion! x

  2. Oh my goodness, it looks amazing. x

  3. Oh, yum...
    It's nice to see you back!

  4. Its amazing what you can turn other things into, like this. browines into a torte. Its nice and simple too, double win. xx

  5. Absolutely love the recipe and pic. Never had it before and cannot wait to try it out :)

  6. This looks so rich and decadently delicious, I can't believe how simple the recipe is! Great post. x

  7. Would love to indulge in this sinful dessert! Yum...

  8. I really like how you used a component of the brownie-cake to garnish it. The nice crown of hazelnuts really look great. Versatile, edible decoration!


  9. well Peter now I'm really curious...what happen at work??? why do you have so many policies?????
    I do agree with you with chocolate...but is not always boring...and this cake look really good!!!!!

  10. That torte looks so decadent and delicious. I know you don't want to talk about it, but what TV show were you on? I am an excellent secret keeper.

  11. I'm glad you broke your "no chocolate" rule here - this looks great.

  12. Just stumbled across your fabulous blog and love everything!

  13. I tend to agree about cake in general...chocolate or vanilla, unless it has some fun in the filling, it's boring. This looks deliciously not boring, though! I do <3 brownies, whatever shape they come in. :-)

  14. I'm with you on the say no to chocolate cake - they always seem to be so dry and unchocolatey. Brownies however...

  15. Oh wow. I just want to dive into that face first.


That's what he said.

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