Recently my birthday was approaching and I wanted to make myself a special birthday dessert, but didn’t feel like making an entire cake for just my husband and I (since we would inevitably eat the whole darn thing). I decided that brownies are also fully capable of holding candles upright and would therefore make a suitable birthday dessert. Since I love red wine and port, and try to sneak booze into my recipes every opportunity I get, I decided why not try to make port-soaked dried-cherry brownies? Big time winner! Make this recipe immediately. Seriously, you’re wasting precious time that could be better spent baking these incredible brownies!
Port Cherry Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies
Time: 25 minutes active; 60 minutes total
4 tbsp. port
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup butter, diced into pieces
1¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
5 tbsp. flour
fresh berries for garnish (optional)
whipped cream for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare an 8×8 inch pan by spraying it with cooking spray, lining it with parchment paper, then spraying the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Put the port in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and stir in the dried cherries. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring periodically, until the cherries absorb all of the liquid. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. Place the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Heat until the chocolate melts. Stir to combine the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Add the salt and flour. Mix until fully incorporated.
5. Gently mix in the port-cherries and the remaining ¾ cup of chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325°F, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.
6. Cool until the brownies come to room temperature. Invert the pan, peel the parchment paper off the brownies, then invert the brownies again so the tops are facing up. Cut into squares. Serve garnished with fresh berries and whipped cream (and fresh mint leaves if that floats your boat). Enjoy with a glass of port or your favorite red wine!