Cooking with Wine
I don't know how they celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the emerald isle, but it amuses me to no end that here in Canada we get decked out in green (lest we invite a pinch), make corned beef and cabbage, and enjoy Ireland's most celebrated foamy export - Guinness extra stout. It's also wonderful with chocolate, the rich flavor of the stout just enhances chocolate in baked goods. For these brownies, we are reducing the stout first, to concentrate the flavor in the liquid, and then building up our brownie batter in the same pot, with butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, flour, and pecans. The result? A dense, moist, chewy chocolate brownie with the malty notes of Stout. Great with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk. Ingredients: Ingredients 1 cup (240 ml) Stout 10 Tbsp (1 1/4 sticks, 140 g) butter 1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (85 g) unsweetened natural cocoa 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup (96 g) flour 2/3 cup (90 g) chopped pecans (optional) Directions: Method 1 Boil Stout, reduce by half: Place the stout in a medium saucepan (2 quart) and bring to a boil. Watch out for the stout bubbling up too much. Boil until the liquid reduces by half. 2 Progressively add butter, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon to the stout, then let cool: Stir the butter into the reduced stout until melted. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in the cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until just lightly warm to the touch. 3 Prepare an 8x8 baking pan: Line a square baking pan with parchment paper or foil in a way that there is overhang over two sides of the dish making it easy to remove the brownies once they are baked. Brush with a little butter or baking spray. 4 Preheat oven to 350F. 5 Stir in the vanilla, eggs, flour, nuts: When the mixture has cooled until just lightly warm to the touch, stir in the vanilla extract and eggs. Stir in the flour until smooth. Stir in the nuts. 6 Bake: Pour into the prepared lined baking pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cool on a rack. When completely cool lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut into 16 to 25 squares or rectangles.