Sunday, March 3, 2013

Port Brownies

Port Brownies

Over the holidays, Jamie brought home a bottle of 10-year old tawny porto.  I've always enjoyed port wine, just a sip here and there, as it's very rich and dessert-like, so it's best enjoyed in small amounts.  Porto or port wine is a fortified wine produced exclusively in northern Portugal, although there are other similar types of wine produced in other countries.

Port Brownies
Port Brownies

Since port is practically a dessert itself, it's wonderful paired with bittersweet chocolate and tart berries.  One cold winter weekend, I baked brownies, just a small batch in my pretty little robin's egg blue baking dish.

Port Brownies
Port Brownies

These dense and fudgey brownies are spiked with dried strawberries soaked in port, and a little more port in the ganache swirled over the top, finished with a sprinkling of coarse salt.

One of these brownies, topped with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with a little more port would be so fantastic... 

Port Brownies

Port Brownies
printable recipe
brownie batter:
  • 1/4 cup dried strawberries, roughly chopped (fresh could also be used, when in season), dried cherries or cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons Port
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of Kosher salt  
  • 1/4 cup Port
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • Kosher salt

Note: This recipe can be doubled for an 8x8 square baking dish or quadrupled for a 9x13 pan.  A bigger batch will need a longer baking time as well.

Preheat the oven to 350; spray a small baking dish (5x5 or 6x6) with non-stick spray.

In a small saucepan, combine the strawberries with the 2 tablespoons Port.  Bring just to a simmer, then cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Puree into a pulpy mixture in the food processor.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter, then microwave at 50% power in 15 second intervals, stirring each time to melt the chocolate into the butter.  In a bowl, whisk together the strawberry port mixture, melted chocolate and butter, cocoa powder, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the flour and salt just until moistened.  Spread into the pan.

Bake for 18 minutes until the center seems almost set.  Cool brownies on a wire rack for 30 minutes while you make the ganache.

Pour the 1/4 cup Port into a small saucepan.  Over medium heat, reduce by half.  Set aside.  Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Warm the cream gently in a small saucepan, just until it simmers.  Pour the cream and the Port over the chopped chocolate.  Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Pour the ganache over the brownies and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt.

Cool for about an hour, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields 6-8 small brownies.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen