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Recipes from PoPville by Nik Sharma

Nik Sharma is a local DC-based food blogger who writes a brown table. His recipes try to keep the emphasis on simplicity and try to adapt Indian and other international cuisines. Nik’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post Taste, The Kitchn and Honest Cooking Magazine.

If you have a recipe from PoPville please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)Gmail and include recipe in the subject line.

Chocolate brownies make a great treat for the holiday season and this version is not only delicious but also simple. I’ve modified and adapted this brownie recipe from Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. This is also my new favorite holiday dessert that I’ve made for myself and for others as gifts.What makes these brownies special are two things, the browned butter flavor and the delicious red wine. Each of these ingredients flavor the brownie and improve the taste of the cocoa. By browning the butter the brownies get a smooth and wonderful taste that I would describe as somewhere between a light butterscotch to nutty flavor, if that makes any sense.

I used a Malbec for the red wine since it is a bit robust and intense in flavor but even a good quality Shiraz would be great here. To make your life easier and less messy, I recommend either buying pre-chopped walnuts or putting the shelled walnuts in a bag and then pounding them a little a rolling pin to coarsely chop them. Eventually most of the walnuts will get sliced once you cut your baked brownies into bite-sized squares. These brownies have a light and thin crust but also have a soft and creamy smooth interior. Enjoy immediately or store them in airtight container until needed!

Ingredients after the jump.

Browned butter and red wine chocolate brownies

Yields: 16 brownies

Ingredients

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons red wine (I used a Malbec)
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with a neutral vegetable oil.
2. Add the cocoa, salt, sugar, water, and vanilla in a large glass mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir with a silicone spatula. As the butter melts it will foam and the milk solids will separate from the fat and begin to turn reddish brown. At this point remove the butter from the stove and quickly pour it into the mixing bowl with the cocoa. Stir it with a silicone spatula to blend. Let it cool for 3 minutes, it will still be hot.
4. Add one egg at a time, mixing it in vigorously with the silicone spatula until completely combined. At this point the chocolate mixture will be silky smooth.
5. Add the flour and again mix it into the chocolate batter vigorously until you see no more white flecks of flour.
6. Roughly chop the walnuts and fold them into the brownie batter.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and allow spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Bake the brownie batter in the middle rack of the preheated oven. The brownies will be done after 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean from the center. The brownies can still be hot and gooey even if the toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the baking pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack for another 20 minutes to cool. Once cool, transfer the brownies to a cutting board and cut them with a clean serrated knife into approximately 16 squares of equal size.

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