Boy, have I got the perfect dessert for you today. It has Monday written all over it.
I’m picturing this happening at your July 4th celebrations. Yes. Let’s make it happen.
There’s something so comforting about making brownies. One, they’re SUPER simple. Two, they usually happen in one bowl. Three, they’re incredibly satisfying. Four, they’re really hard to mess up! Truly, they are one of the easiest but most rewarding desserts you can make at home. They’re the all-American dessert! Right up there with chocolate chip cookies, in my book. And destined to be this upcoming holiday!
This brownie is my version of dessert heaven. I am a huge chocolate person. The darker the better. You can keep your milk chocoalte, thank you very much. And don’t even think about offering me white chocolate. Yuck. Nope. Not here. This brownie is loaded with rich, deep dark chocolate flavor and has the most irrisitible fudgy texture with crispy edges. Gah. It alone makes my heart pitter patter.
To make these extra special and worthy of the holiday, I loaded these perfect-as-is brownies up with a red wine spiked ganache (OMG) and topped that with all the fresh berries I could get my hands on. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. ‘Tis the season! I even threw in some rosé raspberries that are my new favorite thing. They’re gorgeous and slightly sweeter than regular raspberries. If you can find them, grab some! They’re so, so good.
The combination of the dark chocolate, red wine, and fresh berries is the stuff of dreams. It’s decadent and feels fancy but is really simple and approachable to make. This combination is beautiful to look at and even better to taste. The berries lighten things up a bit in terms of flavor without taking away from the indulgence of the chocolate and wine. Goodness. It really is my perfect dessert.
I like to make these in a springform pan. It just makes for a more dramatic serving experience. Bake the brownies and allow them to cool in the pan. Top with the ganache and berries and pop the entire thing in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes (longer is even better). Then, when it’s time to serve, remove the sides of the pan and unmold that brownie. You’ll be able to see all the layers of goodness: fudgy brownie, glorious ganache, and pops of fresh berry.
Plus, I think a circular brownie is a little bit unexpected and therefore automatically more fun. Don’t you think?
All that’s left to do is garnish with a few mint sprigs and a dusting of powdered sugar (both completely optional), slice into wedges or squares, and serve! I like to serve these still slightly chilled. While there are few things I love more than a warm brownie topped with ice cream, this recipe is actually better chilled. The brownie gets even fudgier if you can believe it, and the ganache stays cold and firm.
Dare I say it? It’s actually a REFRESHING dessert. Yes, decadent and rich, but also refreshing if served slightly cold.
Which makes it even better for your July 4th BBQs or picnics or parades!
Really, the only downside to this recipe is that when it’s all gone, you’ll be so, so sad. Take it from me. Just looking at these pictures makes me depressed that this isn’t still in my fridge at the moment.
As I said, DREAM DESSERT.Print
For the Brownies:
- 1½ oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1½ oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
- 2 cups mixed berries, for topping
- Fresh mint sprigs, for topping
- Powdered sugar, for topping
For the Ganache:
- 1½ cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine (I like something fruit forward, like red zinfindel)
- Pinch of fine salt
For the Brownies:
- Preheat oven to 325°F and butter a 9-inch springform pan (or an 8 x 8-inch baking pan).
- Place the chocolates and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring after each session, until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir to completely melt the chocolate.
- Whisk in the sugar, instant espresso, and salt until smooth.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla until smooth.
- Gently mix in the flour and stir until it is just combined and the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top into an even layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are cooked through. I like a fudgy brownie, so I bake mine until the edges are completely set and the center is just slightly gooey. They will continue to firm up/cook a bit in the pan as they cool.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan before topping with the ganache and berries.
For the Ganache:
- Place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl or measuring cup.
- Heat the cream on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is hot but not bubbling.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, add a pinch of salt, and allow it to sit for about 30 seconds. Add in the wine and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and all the chocolate is completely melted. The ganache should be glossy and thick.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cooled brownies in the pan, spreading it out into an even layer.
- While the ganache is still somewhat warm, top with the fresh berries. Place the entire pan into the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with mint sprigs and a dusting of powdered sugar (both optional), slice, and serve.
- These brownies are best kept in the fridge. I like to slice them into squares or wedges and keep them wrapped in the fridge. They are delicious chilled!
- The red wine in the ganache is completely optional – just omit if you don’t want to use it.
- I like to use a springform pan for these because it makes for a dramatic presentation. This recipe will work in an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking pan, if you don’t want to use a springform pan.