Chocolate hazelnut espresso bites

When the air begins to get crisp and that earthy, musky, and sweet scent of autumn fills my nose, the urge to bake quickens within me! I am constantly looking for a new and easy recipe to try out or to bring along to the next holiday gathering. These chocolate hazelnut espresso bites are perfect to eat at home or share as a gift! Top them with freshly prepared ganache frosting and your friends will be begging for the recipe.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of pre-roasted hazelnuts. (If you need to roast and skin the nuts click here for instructions)
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 9 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8 inch square cake pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Chocolate espresso ganache icing (click here for a recipe. In this variation I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bitter)

Directions

1.) Grease your 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over on the sides so that it will be easy to remove the baked cake from the pan.

2.) Grind the hazelnuts using a spice grinder or food processor until a fine consistency is achieved.

3.) Using a double burner, melt the chocolate stirring until completely melted. Allow it to slightly cool. Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy (2 – 3 minutes). Add the vanilla, melted chocolate, and egg yolks.

4.) Continue beating until well mixed then add in the crushed hazelnuts, espresso powder, flour, and salt.

5.) In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until peaks are formed. Fold the whites into the other ingredients. Pour the batter into your baking pan.

6.) Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry from the center of the pan. Cool for at least 30 minutes then refrigerate until completely chilled (you can put it in the freezer for an hour).

7.) Flip the cake over onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and cut it into squares, (this recipe makes approximately 25).

8.) Prepare the frosting and spread over the top and sides of each square. I used this chocolate espresso ganache recipe, substituting semi-sweet chocolate for the bitter, but you can use your favorite. Once frosted, sprinkle crushed hazelnuts over the top of the squares.

9.) Refrigerate the squares once more, to firm up the ganache.

10.) Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-hazelnut-squares
With inspiration taken from: https://www.food.com/recipe/chocolate-hazelnut-bars-125664

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