The Most Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Nutella Brownies
If you make brownies just once this year, make these ones. I mean, I don’t know why anyone would make brownies just once in a year, but, just in case life gets too busy to bake, or your oven breaks down, make sure you have experienced these brownies first. They are So Good. Do you know how I know they are so good? Dom was asking that I bake another batch before we’d even finished the first lot. We were sat there, brownies in hand, discussing how we already needed more of them.
We all know that brownies are nice, don’t we? You can’t really go wrong with a fudgy, chocolatey brownie. Well, these ones are next level, you’ve got to trust me on this. They are so darn delicious because of the magic ingredient, and that magic ingredient is Nutella. Not only do you include Nutella in the brownie batter, you then also dollop it liberally on top and swirl it around, which may be really unhealthy but it's so, SO tasty. The combination of chocolate and hazelnut is classic and possibly unbeatable in my humble opinion.
Before we get to the recipe though, I think that it is important we talk about Nutella. When I say Nutella, what I really mean is any kind of chocolate hazelnut spread. It is really important to check the contents of the chocolate spread you are using, because most rely on some form of palm oil.
Our use of palm oil has caused mass deforestation across the world, devastating the natural habitats of so many different species, including several already endangered species such as orang-utans, pygmy elephants and rhinos. As well as this, mass production of palm oil is contributing to climate change by throwing out millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. There are also ongoing issues with the exploitation of labourers and child labour within the industry.
Despite this, palm oil is in close to 50% of the goods we find in supermarkets due to its versatility. It is also an incredibly efficient crop, which, in theory, makes it somewhat more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require as much space to grow as other oils. It is the way we choose to manufacture palm oil that is cause for concern.
Thankfully, in response to these growing concerns regarding the palm oil industry, The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil, RSPO, was created in 2004 to address these issues. In 2012, the UK government set a commitment that 100% of the palm oil used in the country would be from sustainable sources. We still have a way to go to meeting our target, but I am thankful that the UK government recognised our part in the problem and chose to act in a decisive manner. You can read about palm oil here and also download a scorecard of the WWF to check which brands are committed to using sustainable palm oil: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil
Essentially, before you buy a product, check to see whether it is RSPO certified. That means that the palm oil is being sustainably sourced, allowing us all to make an informed choice about our shopping so that we can become part of the solution rather than the problem. Thankfully, Nutella is committed to 100% palm oil sustainability, which you can read about here: https://www.nutella.com/int/en/inside-nutella/sustainability/palm-oil (round of applause for Nutella!), but do just check the label, because many spreads haven’t yet made the change.
Also, despite this recipe being called Nutella brownies, our personal favourite go-to chocolate hazelnut spread is made by Gü, and I highly recommend it. It is certified palm oil free, made instead with a mixture of sunflower oil, coconut oil and shea oil. The Gü chocolate hazelnut spread comes in a couple of different, amazing flavours including one that has a coating of chopped hazelnuts on top and a chocolate salted caramel spread. Super yum!
Moving back to brownies now - this Nutella brownie recipe is super easy to throw together and really forgiving. I made a batch of these the other day at the same time as making a full English breakfast. So, with your certified sustainable palm oil chocolate spread in hand, what are you waiting for?!
You can also give the recipe your own twist; if you like nuts in your brownie, why not chop up some hazelnuts and mix them in?
The Most Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Nutella Brownies
10 minutes prep
30 minutes baking
1/2 cup light brown sugar (drop to 1/3 cup if you prefer your brownies less sweet)
1/3 cup butter (softened)
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tbsp madagascan vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain gluten free flour
1 + 1/4 cups nutella (or any other chocolate hazelnut spread of your choosing)
1/2 cup chocolate chips + extra to sprinkle over the top
1.) Preheat the oven to 180°c (or 160°c for fan ovens) and line a small to medium sized baking tray with baking parchment.
2.) In a mixer (or using a handheld electric mixer) beat together the brown sugar and the softened butter until creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
3.) Keeping the mixer going, add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Add 1 cup of the Nutella and mix until the batter is smooth.
4.) With the mixer on low now, add the flour to your batter. Make sure to mix until the flour is just combined - don't over mix the batter.
5.) Add the chocolate chips and stir them into the batter with a spoon or a spatula.
6.) Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray, and then, using the final 1/4 cup of nutella, spoon blobs of it over the top. Using a knife, swirl through the batter and nutella to combine it slightly. Finish by sprinkling with chocolate chips.
7.) Place the baking tray into the oven and let the brownies cook for 30-35 minutes. They should be firm but still leave traces of chocolatey batter on a cocktail stick when inserted into the brownies.
8.) Leave the brownies to cool completely before you lift them out of the baking tray and cut them.
These brownies should be stored in an airtight container and can be frozen - just make sure you wrap them well.