These whisky raisin walnut brownies are my favorite adult brownies ever.
It wasn’t always the case.
They remind me of a chocolate bar, with lilac wrap and a cow, very British, that I used to hate when I was young. I thought raisins and chocolate were a bad, bad idea. I truly didn’t get why they were selling it. Who on earth would buy it?.
I guess the years made me wiser, palate-wise, and I came to love baking with whisky, making me want to hide these brownies with whisky soaked raisins, in case there were none left.
Truth is, they have their ardent fans, but raisins are still a big deal for many. Beats me.
Not the whisky, mind you, haha.
As most bakers at some point or another, I set out to find the best brownie ever. That was many years ago, I had piled up a great deal books (this was before food blogging started) and I made them all, everybody’s best, best-ever, definite, outrageous. For a long time, I declared Nancy Silverton’s traditional brownies the best of them all. They still hold a place high up in my brownie ladder.
My current project is to bake brownies with added ingredients, besides caramel. There are enough of those everywhere.
That’s how these bars came to be.
My ancestors would be appalled though. In a recipe that clearly calls for Irish whisky I’m using, gasp, Scottish whisky. What can I say? It was all I had. Red Label.
Nowadays, I’m having a love affair with those honey whisky and they add a barely there caramel undertone that is amazing. But they all work. I use Jack Daniels, regular and honey, not just for this brownie recipe, but for baking in general. Have you tried the most amazing chocolate bourbon cake ever? It’s a one-way road.
Back to our recipe here, if you like raisins and whisky, these brownies are superb. The walnuts add crunch and round up the flavor. A fabulous recipe you should try asap.
They can be frozen, keep in the fridge for at least a week, and can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
- 1/2 cup 70g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 6 oz. 170g bittersweet chocolate, broken into medium pieces
- 4 oz/1/2 cup (110g unsalted butter)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. whiskey (I use jack daniels, regular or honey)
- 3/4 cups raisins
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (room tº)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 2 Tbs. (160g unbleached all-purpose or pastry flour)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting (optional))
- Preheat oven to 325ºF/170ºC degrees.
- Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside while they cool. Coarsely chop before adding.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC degrees.
- Lightly spray or butter a 9-inch square pan. Line it with parchment paper or foil that hangs over two sides; it will be easy to lift the foil and take the baked brownies out of the pan before cutting.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together, in the microwave or over boiling water (be careful water doesn’t touch the bowl).
- In a small saucepan over low heat, heat 1/2 cup of the whisky with the raisins, stirring constantly to prevent the liquid from burning the sides of the pan. Cook until the liquid is bubbly and almost reduced, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a hand-held electric mixer), beat the sugar, eggs and salt until thick and light, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the flour in three batches, turning the mixer off before each addition and mixing on low until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
- Stir in the raisin mixture, walnuts, and remaining 2 Tbs. whisky.
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread to an even thickness.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm to the touch.
- Cool and refrigerate. Before serving, cut into squares (easier if they are cold from the fridge). If desired, sift a fine layer of cocoa powder over the surface, brushing off the excess cocoa for a velvety finish.
barely adapted from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton