Brownies are one of the most forgiving desserts of all. They almost never include a lengthy preparation process, or a complex gadget. For most recipes, you only need one bowl, and one spatula. These gorgeous little truffles start with a fudge brownie base, and are enriched by homemade fudge sauce, rum, and hazelnuts. Basically, a winning combination in every way.
As with every brownie recipe, do not overmix the batter, and do not overbake them. They will be somewhat thin after they bake, so keep an eye on them, and check them with a toothpick, so that they remain fudgy and dense.
For this recipe I used my homemade chocolate syrup
, but you can use a store-bought fudge sauce, too, as long as it is a tad runny. If it has thickened in your refrigerator and has a consistency of a chocolate spread instead of sauce, microwave it for a few seconds to loosen it up a bit, then proceed with the recipe as written.
For the brownies
180 grams plain flour
150 grams granulated sugar
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghiradelli http://amzn.to/2tuqRYS)
180 ml cold water
180 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (Nielsen-Massey http://amzn.to/2rDosK9)
1 teaspoon dark rum
For the truffles
120 grams chocolate sauce
1 tablespoon dark rum
50 grams toasted hazelnuts, roughly ground (http://amzn.to/2rDosK9)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
Start by making the brownies. Take a large bowl, sift in the flour and the cocoa powder, then whisk everything really well. Add in the sugar, and whisk everything again. Pour in the water and oil, then add the rum and vanilla bean paste. Whisk until well blended. Take a baking pan (23×33 cm), grease it well, and pour in the batter. The batter will be thick, so level it as much as you can. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 18-20 minutes. Check them with a toothpick, because if they overbake, they will be dry. Once they are done, let them cool almost completely, but not in the refrigerator. Letting them cool down at room temperature will make them easier to blend well with other ingredients.
Crumble up the brownies into a large bowl, then add in the fudge sauce, rum, and heavy cream. Mix it briefly, then add the hazelnuts, and mix with a wooden spoon, or a sturdy spatula, until the mixture forms into a soft and pliable dough. If the batter seems to be too soft for your liking at this point, you can place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or you can proceed to make truffles. The softer the batter, the smoother and creamier the final truffles are. Take out tablespoons of the batter, roll them into little spheres, and arrange them on a serving platter. Top with more of the fudge sauce, and serve. Yields 35 truffles.