These are, without a doubt, the richest, darkest, most decadent brownies I’ve ever made.
And yes, they’re flourless. But while they are gluten-free, they are certainly not considered health food. These are, instead, considered sin food.
Sinfully rich, these have the most intense dark chocolate flavor and thickest, silkiest texture. I am even hesitant to call them brownies (much like how these Salted Nutella Rice Crispy Smores Bars are not technically brownies, either). Sure, I baked them in a brownie pan, but these need to be served chilled, not warm. Imagine the fudgiest, most decadent, chilled chocolate cake you’ve ever had – these are much closer to that.
The dark chocolate brownie base is blanketed with a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache. Dark chocolate on dark chocolate.
These is the slightest hint of hazelnut liqueur, and the subtlest hint of salt. It is all INTENSE CHOCOLATE in every bite.
In fact, it’s so rich, that I couldn’t even finish a square. Me! N0t finishing a brownie!
But like I already mentioned, these really shouldn’t be compared to regular brownies. Regular brownies are too wholesome. These are not the kind of dessert that you pair with milk. These are dark and silky and sexy. The most adult kind of brownie, if you may.
Naturally, there’s no better pairing for these than wine. And I was very lucky to receive several bottles of Apothic Wine:
I paired the decadent squares with Apothic Red, which is also dark and rich. I’ve tried both Apothic Red and Apothic White before, and really liked both, so I was glad to receive the limited edition Rose and the bottles of ChocolatRouge. These are all affordable bottles (Apothic is around $14 per bottle and the ChocolatRouge wines are just $11) and I’ve seen them in many liquor and wine stores. Some info about the wines:
2012 Apothic Rose – blends Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon; with big flavors of watermelon and strawberry
Apothic Red 2011 California Winemaker’s Blend – a blend of spicy Zinfandel and smooth Merlot, with lush, dark Syrah and bold Cabernet Sauvignon
Apothic White 2011 California Winemaker’s Blend – a combination f smooth Chardonnay, aromatic Riesling, and luscious Moscato
ChocolatRouge Milk Chocolate – cream is infused with Barbera wine and rich chocolate flavors, this is best served chilled or over ice (definitely passes as a dessert on its own!)
ChocolatRouge Sweet Red – a velvety combination of Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah, and rich chocolate flavors
ChocolatRouge Dark Red – a full-bodie blend of Pinot Noir, Malbec, and rich chocolate flavors with hints of dark chocolate and notes of black cherries
As I’ve said before, I’m no wine connoisseur but I do know what I like, and I tend to go for sweeter wines. These wines all fit the bill.
** And speaking of wines, one of my favorite wine and food festivals is coming up. The annual Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival is scheduled for September 20-22. The lawn of the Marble House will host the Grand Tasting, and there will be hundreds (!) of wines from around the world and food from local restaurants. I had a blast the last time I attended, and I’m looking forward to this fun event next month. If any of you are going, too, let me know. **
You might find something similar to these decadent treats at the Grand Tasting, but why wait until next month? Whip up this sinful dessert at home, pair with an intense red wine, invite your friends over, and prepare to swoon.
I’ve made plenty of other brownies before but these are definitely the richest with the most extreme chocolate flavor. It’s hard to distinguish between the ganache and the brownie layer in the pictures but you can definitely taste it. There are only a few ingredients so try to use the best ones you can find (really good quality chocolate, the best vanilla extract, organic eggs). Note that you’ll need to refrigerate or freeze these brownies for a few hours to allow everything to set. I prefer these straight from the freezer.
Decadent Dark Chocolate Flourless Brownies
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (try to spring for the best quality chocolate you can afford)
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur (you can also use almond liqueur, orange liqueur, or plain coffee)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Make the brownie base. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and butter.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate and butter, stirring constantly until completely melted. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in hazelnut liqueur.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until thickened. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold in egg mixture into chocolate mixture in four batches, gently mixing until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges start to get firm and slightly pull away from the pan (the center will appear underbaked). Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Make the ganache. Place bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to right before boiling point. (You can also make ganache in the microwave, by heating the cream for two minutes.) Pour over chocolate and let stand for a minute to allow the chocolate to melt. Add vanilla extract and salt, and stir until smooth and glossy. Let ganache stand for 10 minutes before pouring on top of brownie pan.
Refrigerate for at least four hours before slicing, or freeze for at least two hours. Best served chilled, with fresh berries, and a rich red wine.
What’s the most decadent chocolate dessert you’ve had? Do you have a favorite wine and dessert pairing?