Friday, July 31, 2015

Easy Chocolate-Port Brownies

I was tasting wine in Sonoma last week with some friends, who loved a Port-style wine but were hesitant to buy a bottle because they didn't know if they'd finish it before it spoiled. I proposed 2 solutions to this problem:

1)  Keep the bottle in the fridge and have a few sips every night after dinner.  That bottle will be empty before you know it.

2)  Make Port brownies!

I first experienced Port brownies in a wine class, when each week a different student was responsible for bringing dinner for the class. One girl brought these brownies, and we all fell in love with them. They're simple but impressive. Here's how to make them.

Buy a good quality brownie mix, like Ghirardelli. You'll also need Port and some dried cherries. Look at the amount of water (or milk) the brownie directions call for, and measure out that much Port instead. Take some dried cherries - about 1/2 cup, or however much looks good to you - and soak them in the Port while the oven heats up. Continue to mix the brownies according to the directions on the box. (It may work best to remove the cherries from the Port, mix the Port into the the other ingredients, then gently fold in the cherries at the end.) Bake as directed.

For a really impressive dessert, serve these brownies with the Port you used to make them.  The flavors will be wonderful together.  Port, cherries, and chocolate are a perfect match.

For a fancy way to serve them, I like to use this tequila set.  I don't drink much tequila, but this nifty set is perfect for Port and brownies.  It comes with six glasses and a tray, or as single serving pieces.


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