Monday, December 29, 2014

Cabernet Fudge Brownies

Can you believe it's almost 2015?? It literally seems like yesterday that I was slogging through the January blahs (although I vividly remember the ice storm blackout of last December), a student teacher with an overwhelming amount of work and seemingly never-ending exams. Now, I'm an (almost) full-time combination assistant Toddler teacher and Home Economics teacher and having a great time in my new role. To celebrate the joyous turns the year has taken, as well as the ones the next year promises to bring, I wanted to make an especially decadent, festive dessert for our holiday guests.

Everyone I know likes chocolate on some level - from my stepfather who will eat it if it's offered, to my grandma, sister, mom and I who will actively seek out a dark, rich chocolately something during the day. Given that we'd be having mixed adult / child company over the two holiday weeks, I figured brownies would be a fairly good "please everyone" dish, rich yet simple, with a decent enough life in the fridge to accommodate leftovers and pack well on road trips over the time period. To "fancy" up the flavour without being overly in-your-face obvious, I took up a trick I had seen around the web and added a good glug of Ontario red wine to both the batter and the glaze, as well as a dash of my Cabernet - infused salt. The dry, slightly fruity flavour enriched the mixture of chocolates and cocoa and kept the bars dense and moist, and while you couldn't taste "wine" itself, guests commented that there was "something divine" about them that other recipes hadn't matched. For the party(ies), I decided to glam up the poured glaze with snowflake-shaped sprinkles, but even ungarnished a pan of these would be right at home on either a party sweet table or a weeknight dessert plate.

Cabernet Fudge Brownies

Cabernet Fudge Brownies
Makes one 8" pan, 16 pieces
4 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
⅓ cup salted butter, cubed
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup dry red wine (I used a Cabernet-Shiraz blend)
2 eggs
¼ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
½ tbsp vanilla
½ cup white whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp Cabernet Salt or Kosher salt

Glaze:
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp Cabernet or other dry red wine
pinch salt
Sprinkles or dragees, to decorate (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolates, butter and oil together until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the wine, eggs, sugars and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt and stir until the batter is smooth and has thickened slightly.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs attached.
  7. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the butter in a small bowl, then whisk in the wine and salt until smooth.
  8. Pour the glaze over the warm brownies and spread it to the corners so the top is evenly coated.
  9. Sprinkle with decorations, if using, and cool completely before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 174.5
Total Fat: 10.5 g
Cholesterol: 11.6 mg
Sodium: 34.6 mg
Total Carbs: 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 1.7 g