I have a confession to make. I am not fond of red wine. I realize I’m one of about 5 adults on this earth who do not like red wine and I hate to admit it because whenever I say it people look at me like I just said I like to eat small children for breakfast.
So here’s the common response I get after the scrunched up judgmental faces settle back to normal, “You haven’t found one you like.” Um. No. It’s not for lack of effort. I have tried about every flavor of red wine in existence. I always try red wine when it’s offered to me in social settings (usually when it’s the only option), and I bitterly drink as much of the wine glass as possible before resorting to quietly and discretely dumping the rest of the wine down the sink. I have never, ever found one that floats my boat or tastes even remotely palatable for this refined palette. All reds taste the same to me: dry.
Now white wine is a different story. If you’re serving white wine, count me in. I’m a big fan. Except for Chardonnay which I find to be too dry and oddly buttery in flavor. I’m good for a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Once we get into the Rieslings we are getting a bit too sweet for my tastes (though that’s where I started out with white wine until I my palette settled down at the dryer side of sweet).
If you visit my home, you’ll see I always have on hand several bottles of white and red wine. This is because you never know when you’ll need it i.e you never know when you’ll be entertaining or need to drown your sorrows (or both). I know that most people, unlike me, prefer red to white and I am a conscientious entertainer so I always buy bottles of both. And no – I have no idea if the red wine I buy is any good since it all tastes like crap to me. But it seems to me that people who like red wine are maybe less picky than us white wine folks. I’ve never had any complaints. I’ve never seen anyone scrunch up their face in disgust when drinking any of the red wine I buy nor have I seen a glass of red wine swiftly go missing.
At this point you may be wondering to yourself why in the world I would be making a brownie that uses red wine since I do not even like to drink the stuff. Well what happened is that I used some red wine in a savory recipe and then had this whole stupid bottle of red wine leftover so I wanted to try to do something with it. I found a recipe that sounded very promising at Broma Bakery. I instantly liked the recipe (despite it calling for red wine) and the author because she talked about the importance of using brown sugar in recipes. I’m a firm believe that brown sugar makes every recipe better and have been known to substitute a cookie or brown recipe that calls for both granulated sugar and brown sugar for brown sugar only. Sarah, I’m with you on that one. My adaptation of Sarah’s recipe is below.
- ½ c. butter
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
- 1 ½ c brown sugar (I used dark)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ¾ c. Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ c. red wine
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add in chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted completely. Remove from stove-top.
- Stir in brown sugar until completely incorporate. Add in eggs and stir to incorporate. Add wine and vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour and gently stir until just mixed through.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for roughly 30 to 35 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean.
These brownies are fudgy and moist and perfectly chocolatey and, I’m happy to say, taste nothing like red wine (that I could tell). Which may be a drawback if you were looking for a boozy brownie but for the five of us adults in the world who do not like red wine, you’ve met your perfect brownie.