I’ve been following her blog for awhile now and I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe from the Yankee Kitchen Ninja that I haven’t loved. To put it mildly, you could say that I am a fan. So just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I came across this recipe for port and cherry brownies and my infatuation moved to a whole new level. All I can say is oh my! The brownies are dense and chewy and the cherries, plumped in sweet and fruity port, provide for a sweet surprise in every bite. And because they are baked in miniature muffin tins, you are rewarded with bite sized treats that are perfect for feeding a crowd.
These brownies seem designed with a Belgian palate in mind. Belgians love their port–it appears on just about every restaurant menu as an aperitif. Sweet and rich, port is a natural accompaniment to chocolate. And since I’m in Belgium, with ready access to a vast variety of the best chocolate in the world, I decided to mix things up a bit and use a combination of two chocolates in these brownies. I’ve experimented with different combinations but I like combination of bittersweet and dark chocolate the best since it adds complexity without sugar. If you don’t have dried cherries on hand, dried cranberries make for the perfect substitute.
And if you want to complete your Belgian trifecta, serve the brownies with a Belgian cherry lambic beer. The one from Timmerman’s Brewery is particularly good. A final thought, since these brownies have fruit in them they must be healthy. Right?
PORT & CHERRY BROWNIES
2 tablespoons port wine
2 tablespoons water
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly coat a 24 cup mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat the port and water to boiling in a small saucepan and then add the cherries.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir until the majority of the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler, stirring until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the sugar.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the salt, pepper and flour to the sugar mixture then gently fold in the cherries and any remaining liquid.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the brownies in the tins to room temperature and then unmold.
Yields: 24 miniature brownies