Tuesday, February 8, 2011


What would you say if I told you that I had to take 23 pictures of this brownie in order to get one shot that I am (fairly) comfortable showing to the world (or at least to those of you who visit my corner of it)?  Maybe you'd say, "Wow, this girl needs help," or perhaps you'd say, "I do that all the time".  Sadly, I really do do this every. time. I. post.   But, my camera and I are slowly becoming acquainted!  So here is my Sweet Shot of the day and recipe of the week.

Big Girl Brownies
Port Ganache Glazed Brownies with Dried Cherries
Naturally these brownies aren't for everyone... they really only appeal to those who appreciate very rich, very moist, very chocolaty desserts:).  Proceed with the recipe at your own risk!

Port Ganache Glazed Brownies with Dried Cherries
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.

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Linda Chapman said...

Awesome AWESOME pic!! Totally worth the 23 shots!! It made my mouth water! Thanks for the recipe as well!

I LOVE your new header! Again...totally AWESOME!!

Sherri B. said...

I agree with Linda, Awesome shot. It looks like it is in a great cookbook...Hmm, I think I need to take more shots, a lot more.

Now, off to find some chocolate, for some reson I just fancy some right now.

Missy said...

This looks absolutely luscious and naughty - LITERALLY a Sweet Shot! Your extended photoshoot was successful! I also agonize when it comes to photos, you are not alone. :) I love the detail in the brownie, glorious.

Now - I must make this. I am yearning.

Jessaca said...

Looks good to me.i will have to try this recipe out. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!!!

Rayanne said...

my favorite combos!!! Yummy, yummy.
I will be making this one for sure.
Lovely post too!

Kristy said...

Wow! I wish I was your neighbor. Great photo too!

~Jamie Kubeczka~ said...

I think this is a great shot and man does that brownie look good! Yum!

Katiebee said...

That is a great shot Heather! And that brownie....oh my, you can almost smell the chocolatey goodness through the monitor~



Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Oh my... Hey, I'M a big girl-Woo Hoo! They sound amazing, great shot too-enjoy:@)

tale of many cities said...

simply sinful.. :P pic was great! and yes, i think alot of us do that!! a tip.. if you're using macro setting.. best to set camera on tripod or something sturdy.. it gets rid of the blurs! {which is usually the culprit in ruining my pic} :)

Buttercup and Bee said...

This looks FAB I would love to give this a try but I went to the cupboard and it was bare! well of port anyway! I'm off to Portugal in 2 months so Im going to bring back a bottle or two just for this recipe if it turns out half as good as your picture I will be one happy girl

Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

Ohhhhh - they look. soooo. good! BUT I started a HEALTHY diet TODAY because I am 10 pounds over and I can feel it! So I will have to drool over your sweet shot for this Tuesday, and maybe, in a couple of months, come back to try them. Thank you for a fun visit. :)

followingsplendor said...

Me too! 23 shots for 1 glorious memory:) This is great-the brownie looks divine and I love the setup!

Shannon said...

This looks so rich and yummy!

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Yum! Whatever did we do before digital cameras? It's worth it to get that one perfect photo--even if it takes more than 23!

Heather said...

My mouth is watering. I completely understand how long it takes to get the perfect photo. I struggle as well. It seems to be one the hardest things about blogging! :)

La Vie Quotidienne said...

You can almost taste the moistness of the brownie...the twenty three shots were definately worth it.(-:

Mads said...

Honestly? I take about 20 pictures of my food before I post, and yet nothing looks even close to as scrumptious as this!
Great pic!

diXymiss said...

Hmmm, 23 attempts to get 1 shot you love sounds about right to me! ;-) This dessert looks scrumptious and perfect for Valentine's ~ yum!

Life in Rehab said...

To. Die. For.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Those look heavenly. I'm drooling.

I'd love to have you stop by and link up with Sweet Tooth Fridays!