These Red Wine Brownies are proof positive that chocolate and red wine are natural partners and make a perfect grown-up treat. When you really delve into tasting different kinds of chocolate or cocoa, you notice they often have a lot of fruity flavours. These fruity flavours are the perfect foil to the fruity taste of a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. This makes for very delicious brownies.
The Story Behind the Recipe
Like the majority of my recipes, this Red Wine Brownie recipe has a story behind it. My husband and I have been frequent visitors to the Napa Valley in California over the last decade. It’s one of the places I am very keen to re-visit post-pandemic. A few years ago, we participated in a wine tour and tasting at the Robert Mondavi Winery just outside St Helena in Napa, California. The wine tasting was very much a part of the tour, progressing along with with us as we moved through the tour.
We started with some lighter white wines as we learned more about the winery and walked through the vineyard. Later, as we toured the cellars, we moved on to more full-bodied red wines. Just before the end of the tour, we were offered a few squares of dark chocolate to try alongside a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. It was the first time I had tasted chocolate and red wine together. The flavours complimented each other perfectly.
Just when I thought the wine tasting couldn’t get any better, we were presented with a tray of Red Wine Brownies and a taste of another Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh my goodness, what a treat!
These Red Wine Brownies are my version of the recipe we tasted that day. Spiked with rum and studded with plump, wine infused cherries, these nutty brownies are the perfect treat for grown-ups.
Which Wine Should I Use?
The Red Wine Brownies at the Robert Mondavi Vineyard were made with a Cabernet Sauvignon. I use any good, fruity, full-bodied red wine, most often a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or light Pinot Noir.
Choose a wine that is low in heavy tannins when using dark chocolate so as not to overwhelm your tastebuds. It’s important to use a delicious wine you are happy to drink.
How Can I Serve Red Wine Brownies?
I encourage you to serve the brownies with a glass of the same wine alongside, although they are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee as well. You can also serve them with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Tips for Making the Best Brownies
- Use high-quality chocolate for the best flavour.
- Consider using a non-stick pan and always grease the pan well so that brownies are easy to remove.
- Don’t over-bake the brownies. Most brownies will cook within 20 to 25 minutes. They should be a little soft in the middle for a lovely chewy texture.
- Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares. This makes for a cleaner edge to each brownie. Also, you can carefully wipe the knife with a hot cloth between slices.
Red Wine Brownies – Printable Recipe
Red Wine Brownies
- 6 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
- ¾ cup butter plus extra for greasing the pan
- ¼ cup white or dark rum I use Bacardi white rum.
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup white sugar granulated or caster sugar
- ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- ¼ cup all purpose flour All purpose flour is known as plain flour in the UK.
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup good red wine Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir work particularly well
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C or 150°C for fan assisted ovens).
- Grease an 8 inch (21 cm) square pan well with butter.
- Put the dried cherries and the red wine into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until the cherries begin to absorb the wine and plump up. Set aside to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and the chocolate together over very low heat in a large saucepan. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the butter and the chocolate have just melted together.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the rum with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool a little.
- Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the eggs and sugar to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture in the large saucepan, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the flour until well combined.
- Add the cherries and the chopped nuts and stir in well. (The cherries should have soaked up all the red wine by now. However, if they haven't and there is just a little left you can stir that into the batter with them.)
- Scrape the batter into the prepared 8 inch square pan and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until just cooked. The brownies should still be slightly squidgy in the centre.
- Set aside to cool before cutting into the brownies squares and serving.
- 1-8 inch (21cm) square pan
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 large saucepan
- 1 medium bowl
- measuring cups or a scale
- measuring spoons
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