RDS cookery demo: Double Chocolate Porter Brownies
Update March 2015: These started off life in 2011 as Knockmealdown Porter Brownies but, when it came to putting this recipe in Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, my co-author Kristin suggested calling them Double Chocolate Porter Brownies.
That name that has stuck and, like the brownies, followed us around to demos and events. They’re still the best brownies that I’ve ever made, even if Eight Degrees Brewing have now (the nerve of them!) discontinued the porter, forcing me to use Knockmealdown Irish Stout instead.
I can’t complain too much though. Similar name, even better product. Makes good brownies.
Last week I was up in Dublin for the National Crafts & Design Fair in the RDS, doing a couple of demonstrations on the Cooks Academy stage in the Food Emporium. The title of my demo was Baking with Irish Craft Beer and I had a lot of fun using beers from Eight Degrees to develop recipes for Cheese and Herb Beer Bread, a Salted Caramel Ale Sauce and these Brownies.
A dark, full-bodied porter or stout is a good balance to the chocolate in these brownies. I use Knockmealdown Porter (now stout) from Eight Degrees Brewing here but Dungarvan Black Rock Irish Stout, Porterhouse Plain or O’Hara’s Irish Stout are all well worth trying. You only need 250mls for this recipe, so there will be a little left over to accompany the baked brownies – that’s if you don’t drink it while doing the wash up!
Rich dark chocolate + full-flavoured malty beer = the most lusciously moist brownies. Enjoy!
Double Chocolate Porter Brownies
Update September 2017: the original recipe of these brownies had 100g flour but, I’ve learned from making them hundreds of time over the years, if I’m making them for an event or tasting it’s best to use 125g flour so that they don’t fall apart en route. Recipe adjusted accordingly below. Do know, however, that if you want the moistest possible brownies, 100g flour is the way to go.
125g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
150g dark chocolate
200g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250mls Knockmealdown Irish stout
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fanbake). Line a rectangular 2 x 25 x 30cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together and set to one side.
Gently melt the chocolate and butter together in a large heavy based saucepan over a low heat. Take it off the cooker and add the sugar, whisking until smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla, porter and, finally, the sifted dry ingredients until just blended.
Pour into the prepared tin – this is a very runny mixture – and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Because of the amount of liquid used, you don’t need to underbake these brownies.
Cool in the tin then cut into 30 pieces and store – if you have any left – in an airtight tin. These get more delectably moist the longer you keep them. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream and some warm Caramel Ale Sauce for a superb desert.
Makes 30 brownies.
Buy Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider by Caroline Hennessy and Kristin Jensen here.