New Levels of Chocolate

New Levels of Chocolate

Will Torrent

When I did Alpha, I found eating together as a group such a powerful symbol, getting to know people, and making new friends

The Recipe

The humble brownie has escalated in years gone by into the must-have product in any and every café, pâtisserieor restaurant. I think we love it because it is just so versatile as a dessert – enjoy it hot with ice cream, chilled and fudgy from the fridge, topped with ganache or simply dusted with icing sugar or cocoa powder. And best of all there isn’t that much washing up at the end!


150 g hazelnuts
175 g maple syrup
225 g dark chocolate, chopped
150 g unsalted butter
150 g soft dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a large pinch sea salt flakes
125 g plain flour
a 20 x 30-cm baking pan, greased and lined with buttered baking parchment


Makes 16–20 squares
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Tip the hazelnuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Toast the nuts on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until crisp and starting to become golden. Remove from the oven and set aside for 3–4 minutes to cool, then roughly chop.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan or pot of simmering water. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly for 2–3 minutes.
Mix the sugar and maple syrup into the melted chocolate mixture and stir until silky smooth.

Add the eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix again to combine, taking care not to over beat the mixture.
Sift in the flour and fold in, using either a rubber spatula or large metal spoon.

Stir through half of the roasted hazelnuts, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

Scatter with the remaining roasted hazelnuts.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until the top has a light crust but the middle is still soft to the touch.Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before cutting into squares to serve.

The brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Find an Alpha near you

Try Alpha

Find out more about Alpha

Learn more


Mathew & Cathy's Story

Mathew & Cathy's Story

In 2017, The Marriage Course welcomed new CEO Mathew, his wife Cathy and their children to the Alpha family. After attending The Marriage Course for the first time 16 years ago, we caught up to see the long-term impact it had on their relationship.

Bonnie's Story

Bonnie's Story

In the coffee fuelled capital and tourist-driven area of South Kensington sits the HTB and Alpha office, directly opposite the Natural History Museum, where Bonnie is at work as the Global COO for Alpha International. 

Joseph’s Story – Welcome to the family

Joseph’s Story – Welcome to the family

Lincoln residents were already exploring Alpha through the work of local churches, though there is always space for a new injection of how the needs of the community can be met through other Alpha offerings.