My last post was Guinness Extra Stout Brownies, however, as I mentioned maybe 100 times, I don't like beer! So, while the Stout Brownies were extremely rich and chocolately, at the end of day, I could still detect the taste of beer! Which brings me to my next thought...Port Wine Brownies! Now, that's something I can get behind!
I'm not a great lover of wine, and certainly no expert when it comes to it's finer points. In fact, my husband and I visited Sonoma Valley this past fall and traveled the wine trail. It it took us three days to sip a drop of wine. We are vodka people. Sonoma is spectacular, picture perfect, and home to some amazing restaurants, but I'll take a nice French Martini over a glass of wine any day. So, yeah, I don't know a good wine from a bad one, but I do know I love Blueberry port wine.
I know it's a contradiction, but I really enjoy visiting wineries. I love the smells and organized rows of grapes going on and on as far as you can see. I'm fortunate enough to live near some wonderful little wineries on Long Island and I enjoy taking guests out for a lazy day of lunch and tastings.
Most people are surprised there are so many to tour so close to NYC, and equally surprised the wines are not half bad! My favorite winery is Duck Walk, home to my beloved Blueberry Port Wine, a wonderful dessert wine that pairs excellently with dark chocolate. Naturally, I decided to experiment with combining the two. Brownies. Yeah!
Blueberry Port Wine Brownies
adapted from Dying For Chocolate
1 cup Blueberry Port Wine
3/4 cup butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease bottom of 9x13 inch pan
- In a small saucepan, simmer port wine until it's reduced to 1/4 cup
- Pour into large bowl and set aside
- On top of a double boiler (or heatproof glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water) melt butter and chocolate.
- Pour into wine and whisk until smooth
- In double boiler, whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until very light and thick.
- Pour into chocolate mixture and which until combined and smooth.
- Add flour and mix until combined.
- Pour batter into greased pan. Add walnuts if desired.
|I added walnuts to 1/2 of the batter|
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. The original recipe said to bake for 40-45 minutes, but mine were done much sooner, so check while baking.
- While brownies are cooling, prepare the port wine ganache:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons Blueberry Port Wine
- Whisk all ingredients in small saucepan over medium low heat until combined and smooth.
- Pour ganache over brownies, let set until chocolate sets.
I wanted to try the brownies both with and without the ganache, so I poured it over half of the brownies. After taste testing, I preferred the ganache covered brownies. They were richer and more chocolately with the coating. The 1/2 with the walnuts did not cut very well into squares, even though they were completely cooled. They were tasty, just crumbly. The ganache half cut nicely.
I could taste a hint of the port, but it's not overwhelming by any means. Two taste testers agreed. I really liked them, however, what I really love in Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownies. In every comparison, boxed brownies are the winner for me! If you like to experiment with different brownie recipes, I definitely recommend this one. You can substitute red wine for port and they will be just as tasty!