Chocolate Brownies with Balsamic Berry Syrup

Posted on 12 October 2015
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Make a brownie rich enough, and it will not need any special frosting or glaze. Make an irresistible topping, though, and you won’t want to eat the brownie without it.

The way to make such a topping is to find a proper complement to the fudge-like consistency of a dense brownie recipe. Mixed berries are the ticket. My favorite is a blend of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. A few blueberries, perhaps.

And of course, De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar.

My family is well acquainted with berry sauce. We pour it over ice cream and use it as a dip for our French toast and sometimes eat it by the spoonful.

Changing the supporting ingredients and the cooking process turned the sauce into syrup. By spreading the syrup all over a batch of warm brownies, a decadent treat was born.

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A chewy brownie goes best with the berry syrup. Use your own recipe, or try out a new one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed oil (or other neutral veggie oil)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh mixed berries, cleaned, hulled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Butter or use nonstick spray on a 8X8 pan. If you’re feeling it, put parchment paper in there…you’ll need to cut it so that it fits nicely. Using parchment paper will make it easier to pull the brownies out of the pan when done.
  3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl add your chopped semi-sweet chocolate, butter and sunflower seed oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Do not overheat your chocolate. Stir the chocolate-butter mixture until smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and balsamic vinegar to the chocolate and stir until completely blended.
  5. Add the three eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir until well-mixed.
  6. Whisk your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder) in a separate bowl.
  7. Mix the brownie batter until it is JUST combined. Do not over-mix.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared 8X8 dish. Use the back of your spoon to even the top a bit. Additionally tap the dish on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles from the batter. Place the strawberry halves, cut side down, on top of the brownie batter.
  9. Put the dish with the brownies in the oven on the middle rack for 25 minutes. When done, they will have a bit of jiggle in the middle and if you test with a toothpick a wee bit of batter will coat it. This is a good thing.
  10. Now here is the most challenging part of brownie making…letting them sit there for a few hours (or more) to cool. When cutting brownies, use a very sharp knife (a bread knife works great), cut straight up and down and use a wet paper towel to clean off the knife and get as clean of a cut as possible. These are UBER fudgy…the longer you wait to cut them, the better they will look.
  11. These become even more seductive and forthcoming when topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce + more fruit.