People often ask for my recommendations on the best red wine to pair with chocolates and the honest truth is that many red wines don’t pair that well with even the finest chocolates. But cocoa powder! Now THAT’S a different thing altogether. And this recipe for wine-infused brownies from guest author Melissa Gallo proved quite popular on my home front.
Guest Post: Melissa Gallo
Red Wine Chocolate Brownies
What is better than wine and chocolate? Wine in chocolate. If you enjoy sipping a glass of red wine while eating chocolate cake or nibbling on a square of chocolate, try taking your brownies to the next level with the addition of red wine. While adding coffee brings out the bitterness of dark chocolate, red wine enhances the subtle fruitiness. Reducing the wine by half before adding it to this recipe deepens the flavor even further.
For best results, choose a good full-bodied red wine like cabernet or merlot for this recipe and use high-quality, fair trade cocoa powder and chocolate. Although any type of cocoa powder and chocolate will work, using dark (or bittersweet) chocolate will result in an exceptionally chocolaty brownie. For extra gooey brownies, remove them from the oven a minute or two before they’re fully baked.
If you don’t have a double boiler for melting the chocolate and butter, find a heat-proof glass or metal bowl that fits over a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan a quarter of the way with water, place the bowl over it, and add the butter and chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to the bowl. Continue to follow the procedure as instructed below.
These decadent, fudgy brownies are excellent for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, dinner parties, summer picnics, or even just a midweek chocolate craving. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Enjoy!
1 cup full-bodied red wine
¾ cup butter
8 oz dark chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups white sugar
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8-inch metal pan.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool.
Meanwhile, gently whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
After the chocolate and butter mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk well, then add the reduced wine while whisking continuously. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once cool, cut the brownies into squares, dust with powdered sugar (if desired), and serve.
For the best flavor and to fully enhance the fruitiness of the naturally bitter dark chocolate, use a full-bodied red wine like cabernet or merlot.
Melissa Gallo is a freelance writer and food blogger at recipe-barn.com. She is passionate about cooking, creating and sharing unique recipes or just simply cooking good food. Melissa has also developed an interest in a variety of other things including healthy diet and traveling in new places around the globe to experience different cuisines and learning different cultures.