An easy dessert with sophisticated flavors, these red wine brownies are unapologetically rich. The wine acts in a subtle supporting role, providing fruity tartness to complement the dark chocolate.
As with author Jesse Szewyck’s stellar wine cookies recipe, you can use any dry red wine here, though fruit-forward Merlot, Gamay or California red blends are especially welcome. That said, if all you have on hand is Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, your brownies will still be delicious. More important is to reach for an inexpensive or unsentimental bottle, since you’ll sweeten and reduce the wine before stirring it into the batter.
You’re better off saving your brownie budget for quality dark chocolate. Opt for a bar that has at least 72% cacao content to keep flavors balanced and sweetness in check.
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 ounces dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter or grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and then butter or grease the parchment. Set aside.
Combine red wine and two tablespoons of sugar in a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ¼ cup. Set aside to cool.
Melt butter and chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally with a spatula. When melted and fully combined, set aside to cool.
Whisk brown sugar, remaining cup of white sugar and eggs in a large bowl until sugar granules dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk in cooled chocolate-butter mixture, then the red wine reduction and vanilla until the mixture is fully combined and has a glossy sheen.
Add flour, cocoa powder and salt all at once, and stir until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and tap on your countertop so it spreads evenly into all four corners. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until middle is set. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.