Have your hot chocolate and eat it too. Nutella hot chocolate brownie bites combine a creamy filling, rich ganache, and swirls of marshmallow frosting.
I made these for you.
Well, just kidding. I made these for a party last Friday. Although…were you at the party?? If so, I made these for you.
If you are part of that “you” that I made these for, well, lucky you indeed.
What are “these,” “you” ask? Why, they are Nutella hot chocolate brownie bites.
Let me explain. I really wanted to bake something reminiscent of hot chocolate, because that’s something I crave regularly in the winter. And it may be 80 degrees here in Houston, but no matter, it’s winter and I want hot chocolate. But how to create a solid that’s based on a liquid? You average it all out and go with…Nutella. And ganache. Oh and frosting.
That’s actually a surprising amount of items straddling a couple states of matter. End result? A miniature brownie that reminds you of a cup of hot cocoa when you eat it. Ummmmm yes please. Please? Now.
Just look at those gooey centers. That’s exactly what hot chocolate should be. I mean, if hot chocolate ever has a flaw, it’s that it isn’t thick enough, amiright? And if that’s the case, just eat a semi-solid, semi-liquid fudgy chocolate brownie bite instead. Problem? Solved.
In order to get those delightfully soft centers, you’ll freeze little scoops of Nutella. Freezing the filling makes sure it doesn’t melt into the batter as it cooks, but remains a semi-solid center. I experimented a bit to find the perfect size of scoop. Too small, you won’t notice it when you eat the brownie. Too big, and the brownie won’t set. A little under a teaspoon seemed just right.
Then there’s the ganache. Shockingly easy to make, and the simplest thing in the world to add to the top of the brownie. Just dunk the top of the brownie in the liquid ganache, then let set. Done and done.
Finally, the marshmallow frosting. Now, considering the humidity in Houston, I haven’t even attempted to make homemade marshmallows before — and by that I mean actual solid pieces of marshmallow — although I’ve seen a few recipes. I know unless I have my air conditioning set to 50 degrees, the moisture in the air will ruin them and they’ll never set, so I might as well go with a bag from the grocery store. BUT, not so with marshmallow FROSTING! This stuff is supposed to be something of a liquid, so humidity can do its worst and I’ll still have a delicious final product. Not to mention, you can SET IT ON FIRE for a final bit of flair (or flare…ha). Yes, use that creme brulee torch to toast the frosting, adding a bit of color and flavor and texture to your beautiful creation. Ermahgerd so fun. And so pretty.
So does this brownie live up to its hot chocolate hype? Well, between the Nutella, the ganache, and the lightly toasted frosting, when you bite into this brownie, a fair amount of it will literally melt in your mouth. Oh, and I should mention the actual brownie part of this brownie is no slouch, either. This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction bakes up into one of the most incredibly moist and fudgy creations I’ve ever tasted. I mean, I’ll be honest, you can certainly get away with using a boxed mix instead. There’s so much else going on in this recipe that no one will judge, and you can still trumpet your amazing homemade accomplishments. But the homemade recipe does add a little extra deliciousness.
So yes, in answer to your question (who are “you” again?). Yes, this Nutella hot chocolate brownie meets all of my very high expectations, and if I eat it with a mug of hot chocolate, well, I could 100% die happy. But I’d rather live. So I could eat this again.
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- Approximately 10 oz. of Nutella
- ½ cup salted butter
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Drop 24 small balls of Nutella onto the sheet, between ½ and 1 teaspoon in size. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Place the butter and semi-sweet chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwaving for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, melt the chocolate and butter together. Scoop the chocolate-butter mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the chocolate mixture and whisk together. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt to the bowl and stir gently until just combined.
- Spray a mini-muffin tin (with 24 spaces) with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon brownie batter into each well, so that each one is about ¾ full.
- Remove the Nutella from the freezer. Drop one ball of Nutella in each brownie, pressing it down gently so it's below the top of the tin, but not so far down it hits the bottom. Use a spoon to add a little extra batter to the top, covering the Nutella. (I had a little extra batter leftover. I baked this extra separately in a ramekin. And ate it.)
- Bake the brownies for approximately 15 minutes, starting to check for doneness around 10 minutes. The Nutella will make it tough to test the brownies with a toothpick for doneness, but the tops should be fairly solid when you press on them gently.
- Allow brownies to cool in their tins. When cool, remove to a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache. Place the 4 oz of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, the cream, and the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.
- When the brownies are cool, but the ganache is still warm, dip the tops of the brownies in the ganache. Place on wire rack to set.
- Pour a couple inches of water in a large saucepan and heat on the stove until simmering.
- Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or heat proof metal bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place the bowl over the simmering saucepan, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the bowling water. Heat the bowl, whisking continuously, for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm.
- Take the bowl off the saucepan and connect to your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment (or an electric hand mixer), beat the egg mixture for 5-7 minutes, until you have glossy, stiff peaks. Add vanilla. Beat again for about 30 seconds to combine.
- Pipe the frosting onto the brownies. Using a creme brulee kitchen torch, briefly toast the frosting. This recipe makes A LOT of frosting, so give those brownies a hefty dose. (I used extra for dipping graham crackers and gingersnaps.)
- Enjoy the same day for maximum deliciousness. If not eating within a few hours, store the brownies in a covered container in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Brownie base recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart.
So you like chocolate? Try these colorful chocolate cups with white chocolate mousse next!