March 16, 2014

Foodgasms: Dark Chocolate Guinness Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting

I have a confession to make.

For many years I thought that I hated beer. I thought that I was strictly a liquor girl. But I was wrong. As it turns out, I merely hadn’t tried the correct beers.

I LOVE beer. As long as it is dark. Stouts and Porters specifically. And especially:

Guinness.

Guinness is love.

Delicious, dark and decadent Guinness. Which deepens the experience of any chocolate dessert that you could think of. And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I made these gooey and fudgey brownie bites with a super rich brown sugar frosting. And I happen to think that you’ll quite enjoy these as well.

How cute are these?

These little brownie bites are just so adorable. And so … yummy is the best word to use the taste explosion that will occur as soon as you pop one of these little babies into your mouth. If you’ve never cooked with alcohol and are worried about the flavor or the alcohol content, don’t be. While I would make sure that these remain an Adults Only treat, you will not get drunk or even buzzed from eating these. Approximately 40-50% of the alcohol is burned off when baking these and you’re not using all that much of the Guinness. What is left is a darker, more dense chocolate flavor that will leave you wanting more.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Dark Chocolate Guinness Brownie Bites:
Adapted from Ghirardelli’s Classic Chocolate Brownies Recipe

4oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Ghirardelli Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
1/2 cup Guinness, reduced

First things first. Pour your Guinness into a small saucepan and while simmering, reduce until a 1/4 cup of concentrated Guinness is left. Guinness has a tendency to foam up so keep an eye on it. You may be able to prevent the foaming if you use room temperature Guinness. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place mini baking cups in a mini cupcake pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Slowly fold in the Guinness until blended and fill the mini baking cups 2/3’s of the way. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remember, do not overcook! Brownies should be just slightly undercooked. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.

Brown Sugar Frosting:
Taken from King Arthur Flour.
Additional notes (in italics) added by me.

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. This can take some time. Will start to look like a thin caramel sauce when it’s ready. Add the milk, bring to a boil (this will seriously thin out the mixture, so don’t be alarmed by that) and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar.

Frost the brownie bites while frosting is still warm. Otherwise, the frosting hardens considerably and can be difficult to spread.