Chocolate brownies! Do you prefer rich, fudge brownies, chewy ones or cake-like ones? So, the texture of the brownie depends on the ratio of chocolate, butter/oil, eggs, sugar, and flour ingredients. The type of fat used in the batter will change whether the brownie ends up being richer and fudge-like or less dense. Although I do love the smell of melted butter, I tend not to use butter when baking, mainly because of dietary restrictions. Usually I’d turn to oil, but I’ve grown to really enjoy using pureed fruits whenever possible. Pureed fruits such as apples, bananas, prunes, or dates make wonderful substitutes, as long as the flavors don’t clash with what you’re trying to bake. I’ve baked with apple sauce and mashed bananas and had wonderful results for cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and sweet breads, but, I’ve never tried using prunes.
From the web, I came across several posts talking about a chocolate and prune brownie recipe from the Bourke Street Bakery, a baking cookbook from the Sydney-based bakery. They also mention soaking the prunes in brandy, cognac, or tea to make it extra delicious and moist. That sounded quite intriguing!
On a related note, I had picked up a bottle of Honey Jack Daniel whiskey while I was in Jamaica a while back. I’ve never seen Honey Jack Daniels being sold anywhere before. I don’t think it’s actually available here. It’s not as intense as regular whiskey and has a pleasant hint of sweetness from the honey. I had picked it up thinking it would be great for mixed drinks and… desserts!!! This was the perfect opportunity to put it to use in a recipe – Honey Jack Daniel Whiskey-Infused Prune Chocolate Brownies.
To make the prune mixture, I placed about 1/2 cup of prunes in a small bowl and poured in enough whiskey to submerge the prunes (about 7-8 tbsp). I covered the bowl and allowed it to soak for 24+ hours. Then when I was ready to use it, I just pureed the prune mixture in a small blender.
- 1 box of your choice of brownie mix (or your homemade brownie mix*)
- 2 eggs
- Pureed alcohol-infused prune mixture (described earlier)
- 1/3 cup water
*A basic brownie mix can be made with ~1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, ~2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and some amount of sugar depending on your preference.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, eggs, prune mixture and water. Stir until the mixture is well blended.
- Pour mixture into a greased baking pan.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let the brownies cool and then serve.
I made one squared brownie, which was baked using my mini cast iron skillet. The rest were made into bite-size circular pieces and topped with sliced almonds.
The alcohol-infused prunes didn’t just make the brownies extra chewy and moist, but added a very pleasant kick to each bite. A very nice, honey sweet kick! These are definitely not the kind of fudge-like brownies for children. On the other hand, they make awesome, slightly boozy desserts for the adults! I’m definitely going to try this again sometime with other types of alcohol. I’ll also give the non-alcoholic tea-infused variation a try. Mm…