Will you just look at these?
I am feel like I am selling out several of my strongly held principles this minute by posting a Fudgy Cherry Port Brownies post on Valentines Day. Why in god’s name am I doing this when my personal disdain for the day is rather well known? In fact, you could say that it is award winning . Yet here I am not only posting a ridiculously romantic Valentine’s dessert (see the red people? That makes it Valentine’s Day worthy) but also specialty brownies . I don’t even like specialty brownies ! (Why would you tinker with a classic unless you have something really special to say by doing so? These are classics for a reason people!)
But… if these brownies are the sort of things that you Valentine’s Day people like then you Valentines Day people will certainly like this sort of brownie. I am sure of it.
These brownies are ridiculously easy to make. These little chocolate lovelies, dotted with dried cherries macerated in simmering port, are hardly any more difficult than a standard cocoa brownie. They are quite lush and sophisticated tasting containing only enough port to draw out both the cherry and intense chocolate flavor without causing any need to check IDs before serving.
Your brownie target will be begging you for more. Isn’t that just what you want on Valentine’s day? Of course it is which makes these the prefect brownies for a Valentine’s Day brownie lover to love.
Hopefully you will find the fact that I posted these at the last possible moment to somewhat if not just a little bit subversive. Certainly by now it is way too late for you to rush home and bake up a batch, cool them, and then press out heart shaped heart shaped Fudgy Cherry Port Brownies with cookie cutters to wrap in deliciously wrapped cookie boxes for your friends and loved ones.
So take that you Valentine’s Day people! (You know who you are.) Lets just see if you can wait until next year to make these. I’m not sure I can.
Fudgy Cherry Port Brownies
If there is a person on this planet who can get me to reconsider Valentine’s Day for even the short 35 minutes it takes to bake these brownies it is certainly Ms. Dorie Greenspan. In fact, I would guess that this lady’s heart is warm enough to bake a pan of these brownies.
@SisBoomTweet Sweet, sweet V-Day to you – xoxoxo
— dorie greenspan (@doriegreenspan) February 14, 2014
When I saw the above Valentine’s Day message from her today I’m not saying that I squealed just a little bit with excitement but, um, I might have. I then realized I had to do something special in return.
So I made her these specialty brownies for Valentine’s Day.
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan and Better Homes and Gardens
This is what you will need:
- 2 tablespoons port or water
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate or 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
- Fresh raspberries (optional)
This is how you make it:
- Position oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8x2-inch pan with foil. Butter foil; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the port and water to boiling. Add dried cherries; cook and stir over low heat until the fruit is soft and plump and liquid evaporates. Using a spatula, scrape the cherries into a bowl; set aside to cool.
- Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). Place the butter in the bowl; scatter the 6 oz. chocolate over butter. Heat until the chocolate is almost melted (you do not want to heat the mixture so much that the butter and chocolate separate). Remove bowl from the heat. Stir until butter and chocolate are smooth.
- Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until batter is smooth and glossy. Whisk in salt. Gently whisk in the flour, stirring only until it disappears into the batter. Using a spatula, stir in the port-soaked cherries (and any liquid that accumulated) and the remaining 4 1/2 oz. chopped chocolate. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top as much as possible.
- Bake 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Invert brownies onto a cutting board; gently peel away the foil. Turn brownies over. Cut into 36 squares. Serve with fresh raspberries, if desired.