Thursday, January 21, 2016

Malbec Fig (Chocolate) Brownies

Yes.  My wine-addicted ass found a way to incorporate wine into brownies.  Let's clarify.  Not about my wine-addicted ass but that I found a recipe that incorporated wine into brownies.  And I was all like "hell yes".

Let's just be clear here, however, just in case you're getting all weirded out by wine brownies.  These are CHOCOLATE in the deepest, chocolatiest of ways.  The wine adds an element, but you'll definitely know you're eating a brownie.  I mean look at that dark chocolate color....

It called for a Malbec and since I recently spent three weeks south of the equator drinking Malbec...  Every.  Day, I consider myself an expert.  Off I went to my local wine shop.  People,  I can WALK to the nearest wine shop from my new house.  I didn't, but location, location, location.  I strutted myself in there all, "Do you have any Chilean Malbec, preferably from the Colchagua Valley?"  Yeah, so annoying.  He didn't.  Said he wasn't sure I'd be able to find one in Birmingham.  Which may be true since I'm not sure now much the wineries we visited export.  He sold me a nice one from Mendoza....a 2013 Don Manuel Villafane for $20!

Now, if you're still hesitant about wine in your chocolate, listen to the tasting notes for this particular wine...."Shows a dark violet color with an incredible nose of rich cherry, cassis, and plum.  The full body shows hints of blackberry, mocha, vanilla spice and coffee with a sweetness of tannins."  Tell me all of those things don't pair well with chocolate.  And even if you can't find the exact wine that I used, it's fine.  All of those characteristics are pretty standard with Malbec.

I guess anyone posting on a "food" blog should also be able to describe to you the flavor profile of a fig and just exactly what that fig spread is bringing to this party, but I'll be damned if I can tell you what a fig tastes like.  I love me some Fig Newtons and I'll shove figs wrapped in prosciutto into my pie hole all day long, because PRUSCIUTTO......but I cannot describe to you what a fig tastes like.  I'll shut down this site tomorrow but, in the meantime, just find yourself some fig spread.....I got mine at Fresh Market and I know Murfree's in Cahaba Heights carries their own homemade version....and follow the recipe!!

These are rich and, like I said, really chocolaty....there's a full pound of chocolate in these babies so they're certainly not for the faint of heart.  I'd call these a "grown-up" brownie.  Maybe for your more sophisticated dinner party guests!  (of which I don't have many.....jk, jk friends)  Reducing the wine definitely brings out the cherry notes so if chocolate covered cherries....minus the disgusting gushy parts...are your thing, you'll love these.

PS....the cherry is much more pronounced on the first day.  After these sat overnight, it was much more subtle.

Here's the recipe:

Malbec Fig Brownies
Baked From Scratch Magazine

2 (4 ounce) 70% cacao extra bittersweet chocolate baking bars, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups Malbec
1/3 cup fig spread
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (4-ounce) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper,  Lightly grease parchment.

In a large saucepan, add 2 cups Malbec wine, and cook over high heat until reduced by 1/3 cup.  Remove from the heat, add 1/3 cup fig spread and stir.  It'll disolve.  Let cool completely.

In the top of a double boiler (or you can melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between until melted) add chocolate and butter.  Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and add in the cooled wine mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Stir in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla until moistened.  Stir in chopped chocolate.  Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake until brownies are beginning to loosen around the edges, about 30 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan before cutting.

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