I did something wonderful this weekend… I made brownies, and they tasted amazing. You see, this is a very rare occurrence in my house, so it was cause for a tiny celebration: hence the red wine ganache.
I have a great trusty ol’ brownie recipe… which I never use. I am always looking for something better, and wishing I had just left “well enough” alone. Usually when I attempt to make a new brownie recipe, I set off confident, armed with my flaxseed or my EnerG… ready to take on the brownie world. But, almost always, something starts to go wrong 2 minutes after I mix the batter… and then it tumbles quickly downhill from there.
Have you ever experienced the horror that is the bubbling brownie of death, just a mere 10 minutes into the baking time???? I have… and it really burns up my oven mitts.
So, yesterday, as I was savoring one of my favorite foods: the Medjool date… I thought to myself “Now, this is what brownie batter should be like: moist, chewy, sticky and sweet all at once.”
I began mentally combining ingredients, having the utmost confidence that those dates would act as a binder, a sweetener and a base all by their little selves. Out of sheer excitement for my upcoming brownie success, I opened bottle of Shiraz and went to town. A few chocolate chips later, a batch of decadent and rich brownies was born. I was quite pleased with the results… especially with the thick and awesome chocolatey topping. So super good.
Needless to say, this recipe’s a keeper. Full of dates, and free of gluten, oils, and added refined sugar (well, except in the chocolate chips)… this brownie will blow your mind.
Shiraz Ganache Covered Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard sized loaf pan by greasing, or, better yet, use a silicon pan with no prep.
Remove pits from dates and run through food processor until a smooth paste forms. Place the processed dates into a mixing bowl.
Next, melt chocolate chips over double boiler or by microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until chocolate is smooth.
Add melted chocolate chips to dates, and mix in non-dairy milk, rice flour, potato starch and salt. Fold in walnuts. Your batter will be VERY thick. Since the batter is stiff, you will need to manipulate it with a large spoon, and probably your hands to spread it out into the prepared loaf pan. Don’t worry, it is not supposed to look like typical brownie batter. It should look like this:
Bake in preheated oven for about 19-23 minutes. To test for done-ness, the top should be bready and slightly crunchy rather than batter-y.
Let cool in pan while you make your ganache.
To make the ganache, all you have to do is place the chocolate chips into a medium sized heat-safe bowl. Next, combine the non dairy milk, the red wine and the agave into a small saucepan. Place over medium low heat and let the mixture come to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, pour over chocolate chips and stir until all chocolate is melted.
If your brownie is slightly cool and easy to remove from your pan, (my brownies popped right out of my silicon pan, and stayed in one piece) transfer to wire rack and place a cookie sheet underneath the wire rack. If you are weary of taking your brownies out of the pan, the ganache can be applied straight on top of the brownie while still in the pan.
Either way, slowly pour the ganache over the top of the brownie until all has been used. The ganache takes a while to harden so feel free to go slow on this step. I like to pour one layer, let it get thick, and then pour the next… repeating until all has been used up. Since the brownie ends up with so much ganache piled on, a nice trip in the fridge is very helpful in firming up the topping. Chill until firm.
Once ganache has hardened, cut into squares and serve. (It WILL be firmer than the pic shown below… I just poured the ganache, cut the brownie, and then shot the photo immediately)
Store in covered container in fridge and let come to room temp before serving.