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SHF #13: Champagne Brownies

Champagne Brownies

I had a champagne and chocolate party for my last birthday, and fell in love with these two luxurious items. The complex flavors of champagne and chocolate work well together, and I have always wanted to explore the combination further. The dark chocolate theme for this Sugar High Friday gave me the perfect excuse to experiment, and I began assembling the ingredients for my new creation, Champagne Brownies.

While on a trip to Montreal, Canada I found champagne jelly in several stores and took one home as a souvenir. I ended up wasting my imported jar in a brownie experiment that went awry (don’t try adding this on top of the batter before baking, it’s a disaster), but I knew it had potential for something good. I went on a search for it in the U.S. and found a small bottle at the gourmet food shop, Fauchon. It wasn’t nearly as cheap as in Canada (a 4.7 ounce jar costs $8 at Fauchon!), but I decided I had to have it anyway. Fortunately, it goes a long way when used as a glaze.

Fauchon Champagne Jelly

With my jelly in hand, I picked up a bottle of cheap champagne at the liquor store and began to experiment. I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate in my favorite brownie recipe, and decided to throw a cup of champagne directly into the batter. As the brownies are in the oven, some of the alcohol in the champagne bakes out, leaving the brownies with a nice, mellow champagne flavor. Once the brownies finished baking, I used the champagne jelly to make a glaze. The glaze is created by heating the jelly until it is the consistency of thin syrup, and spreading it on the warm brownies with a pastry brush. This gives the brownies a shiny top; simultaneously keeping the brownies moist and strengthening the champagne flavor. The end result was a rich, dark chocolate brownie with a subtle champagne after taste. The champagne flavor is strong enough to differentiate it from normal brownies and satisfy champagne lovers, but does not have an overwhelming alcohol flavor.

Champagne Brownies are truly a dark chocolate treat, since this recipe would not work as well with milk or semisweet chocolate. Only a deep, dark chocolate can stand up to the champagne flavor. I look forward to serving these at my next chocolate and champagne party.

Champagne Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies
Pan: 9″ x 9″ square baking pan

16 oz. (1 lb) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for buttering the pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup champagne

1. Adjust the rack 1/3 from bottom of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter a 9″x9″ baking pan and line with parchment paper (leave extra overhanging the edges for easy removal.)

Lined Pan

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or double boiler. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments and stir between each addition. Do not overheat or chocolate will seize.

3. Beat the salt, vanilla and sugar into the melted chocolate mixture.

4. Add the eggs one at a time to the chocolate mixture and beat thoroughly to incorporate.

5. Add the flour and mix just until blended.

6. Add the champagne and continue mixing the batter vigorously until it becomes very shiny and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (I use my stand mixer for this, and let it run for 2-3 minutes on high. If you don’t have a mixer, just keep beating hard for several minutes.Work off those calories you’re about to consume!)

Brownie Batter

7. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist, but free of batter, about 45-50 minutes.

Champagne Glaze:

Place a heaping tablespoon of champagne jelly into a microwave safe cup. Heat the jelly until it becomes liquid (about 30 seconds.) Using a pastry brush, brush the warm brownies with the champagne jelly glaze. The liquid should be completely absorbed into the brownies, leaving a moist, shiny top.

Warmed jelly (glaze)

Tip: The brownies should be completely cool before cutting. I recommend placing them in the refrigerator overnight to set.

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Jennifer says on October 21st, 2005 at 6:32 pm:

Kelli you have done it. You’ve combined two of my all time favourite indulgences into one fabulous dessert.

Thanks so much for coming up with dark chocolate as this month’s SHF theme – I can’t wait to read all the decadent desserts that people post!

Cheryl says on October 21st, 2005 at 7:34 pm:

So when is the party??? Your brownies look & sound amazing Kelli.

casey eats says on October 21st, 2005 at 8:00 pm:

They look so good!

here is my post

Michelle says on October 21st, 2005 at 9:29 pm:

Those sound delicious! Have a great weekend!

Laurie says on October 21st, 2005 at 9:39 pm:

That is quite a creative recipe Kelli! 3 cheers for you & 4 cheers for the brownies! :-) It does sound like a lot of work, but I guess that’s what “creativity” is all about! I’m anxious to see what you will come up with next. I, always the one that is anxious to please, wish I lived close enough to sample these treats so I could give my “expert” opinion. In the meantime I’ll just have to use my imagination & keep looking at the picture of the perfect looking brownies as they look like they could jump right off the screen…

Nic says on October 21st, 2005 at 9:49 pm:

This does sound like a fantastic dessert for a party. Perfect for New Years, I would think. I wish I could taste it!

Kelli says on October 21st, 2005 at 10:12 pm:

Thanks everyone! I love the New Years idea – I think they would be perfect for that occasion.

Zarah Maria says on October 22nd, 2005 at 4:05 am:

Screams New Years, I agree! So decadent! Lovely!

Kelli says on October 22nd, 2005 at 10:15 am:

I have recieved many entries via email and will post the wrap up by sunday. The entries are really impressive, I think we’ll all want to bake even more dark chocolate items this week. As for technorati tags, I’ve never done that before. How does it work?

chika says on October 22nd, 2005 at 11:11 am:

Hi Kelli,

These look and sound awesome! Champagne is by far my most favorite alcohol and I’ve tried champagne truffles more than a few times, but they usually don’t quite have a champagne flavor… I’ve been meaning to try to use it into some chocolate stuff myself, and I will simply have to include this brownie recipe in my shortlist. Thanks for the inspiration!

chronicler says on October 22nd, 2005 at 11:28 am:

Oh excellent Kelli! I would have never experimented with adding champagne to brownies. They look wonderful!

chronicler says on October 22nd, 2005 at 12:06 pm:

These look sooooo good Kelli! I would have never thought to pair the two in a brownie. Great choice for the dark side!

LisaSD says on October 22nd, 2005 at 2:35 pm:

Very nice creation! Do you go to Montreal often?

Barbara says on October 22nd, 2005 at 5:28 pm:

Two of my favourites – Champagne and dark chocolate. Looks great Kelli.

Cath says on October 23rd, 2005 at 1:27 am:

Kelli, what a terrific dessert — I can’t wait to make these for New Year’s!

mrbunsrocks says on November 3rd, 2005 at 2:58 pm:

OMG – these look fabulous! Did you use real champagne, or sparkling wine? Dying to try, but don’t know if I can handle pouring 1/3 of a bottle of the good stuff into brownies. Yum.

This so not in keeping with what my blog is all about….hahaha.


alexandra says on November 23rd, 2005 at 10:22 pm:

i just made these!
they came out awesome, and they better have for the $50 price tag!
i used veuve cliquot champagne, valrhona guanaja + el rey apamate and plugra butter. i think i just like excuses to buy fancy ingredients!

this is such a great recipe!

Kelli says on November 27th, 2005 at 12:51 am:

I’m so glad they turned out well Alexandra! Sounds like you’d have to get dressed up to eat something as fancy as those :) Did you use and jelly coating on top?

Barb says on January 21st, 2006 at 4:13 pm:

After looking for a couple of hours for The Recipe, I think I’ve finally found it! What better way to impress a guy on his birthday than with Champagne Brownies?! I can’t wait to give these a whirl, Kelli — many thanks!

Erin says on January 29th, 2006 at 4:32 am:

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe since you first posted it but I live in Ohio and I couldn’t find champagne jelly anywhere. Instead I made raspberry brownies with Lindeman’s Lambic Framboise instead of champagne and a nice raspberry jam on top. They are soooo good. Thanks!

Kelli says on February 1st, 2006 at 10:23 pm:

Hi Erin– That sounds great! Thanks for inventing something new I get to try now :)

Tania says on February 14th, 2006 at 9:53 pm:

Hi, Kelli!

I just found your blog and have already fallen in love with it, all because of these brownies. They look and sound unbelievable! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Lovescool - For the Love of Dessert » Blog Archive » Champagne Brownies - Holiday ‘06 says on December 10th, 2006 at 6:52 am:

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Shannon says on May 11th, 2008 at 8:45 am:

I LOVE THIS recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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