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Port Ganache-Glazed Brownies with Dried Cherries

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Yields 16 2-1/4-inch square brownies

A port-ganache topping and port-soaked dried cherries transform the classic fudgy brownie into an elegant, grown-up dessert, but you can also omit them for an indulgent afternoon snack

For the port-soaked dried cherries:
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, very coarsely chopped (or whole dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup tawny port
For the brownies:
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter; more softened butter for the pan
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
For the port-ganache topping:
  • 1/2 cup tawny port
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped  (about 1 cup)
Soak the cherries:

In a small saucepan, bring the cherries and port to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Make the brownies:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9-inch-square metal baking pan, tapping out the excess flour.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk or stir in the sugar, follwoed by all four of the eggs and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, starting slowly to keep the ingredients from flyin gout of the pan and stirring more vigorously as you go. Stir until the batter is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. If you're using the port-soaked cherries, stir them in at this time, along with any remaining liquid from the saucepan.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it so it fills the pan evenly. Bake until a toothpick or a skewer inserted 3/4 inch into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist clumps clinging to it, about 40 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Make the topping:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the port to a boil. Boil until the port is reduced to 2 Tbs., 3 to 6 minutes. Pour it into a small cup or bowl. Thoroughly rinse the pan. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in the pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate and reduced port until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted.

Pour the ganache into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Put the bowl in a cool part of the kitchen and let the ganache cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. When it's cool, spread it evenly over the cooled brownies and give the ganache about an hour to set (it will still be quite soft and gooey). Cut into 16 squares. Keep the brownies at room temperature, well wrapped. You can freeze them, too.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 16 servings; Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 11.5; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 44; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 110; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 95; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips



Made this several times as a "decadent" brownie. People rave about it and it's always a hit. I don't buy port, so I substitute Grand Marnier in the ganache, and add pecans to the brownies as well as the cherries.

Didn't have port/wine, so I used some fresh pomegranate juice, with mixed dried berries & cherries, and added some vanilla extract, cinnamon and powdered coffee, turned out awzumm. Also, put extra chocolate in the mix \,,/

As everyone else said; fantastic. My husband loves chocolate and went nuts over this recipe. I found them almost too chocolatey (If that's really a word) and would appreciate a small square with something like a citrus sorbet. Mine were too fudge like for me but I think I didn't reduce the Port in the cherries enough (which would take longer than the recipe called for). Also, heads up when reducing the Port for the ganache. Port has a high sugar content and burns easily so keep stirring and keep an eye on it. This is definitely better on day 2 and would even be great without the ganache.

These brownies were awesome. The first day after we had finished them and let them rest, we tasted them and I was a bit disappointed. The next day however, was completely different, the ganache had set up and the flavors of the cocoa , cherries and port really came together. So if you can stand it, my advice would be to make these a full day in advance, it's worth the wait

I'm not big on brownies or chocolate but these are wonderful. Easy and always come out well.

I made this recipe with canola oil instead of butter and I used a dark chocolate for the ganache. They were spectacular. I think I will put more cherries in next time.

This is a great recipe. I've made it both with and without the cherries. I don't like fruit in my chocolate desserts generally, which is why I first made it without the cherries, but the ganache does not have much flavor besides chocolate, so the cherries really make it special. Without cherries, I would give it a 3-1/2, with cherries a solid 5!

I was stuck inside during a snow storm last weekend and made these just because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. I had no idea how awesome they would be! The contrast of the sweet chocolate and tangy cherries is fantastic. I plan to make them again tonight because I can't wait to show them off to some friends. They're pretty sophisticated for a brownie but even the kids loved them. At first I was afraid the ganache was too runny and wouldn't set up, but it turned out perfect! And I think that little bit of port in the mix is what keeps them so moist and fudgy.. wow!

I'm not a huge brownie fan - but! Now I'm a believer! My eyes rolled, my toes wiggled and a shiver went up my spine when I tasted these!

These are fantastic! Everybody that I make them for loves them and wants the recipe.

These were really excellent. I don't normally like chocolate with fruit, but the cherries weren't overpowering at all. A very rich and elegant brownie.

I am not a huge brownie lover, but I had some company coming over and decided to make these since it sound unique with the dried cherries.The glaze also sounded different. These are the best! Preparation time was minimal and the recipe was easy to follow. The brownies are moist,full of chocolate, but not overpowering with the cherries. I will most gladly eat these any time. My company also loved them, and I recieved rave reviews. They are fantastic and now a part of my cookbook favorites!!

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