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 and there came a time when I wanted to hide these brownies with raisins and not share them. In case someone else's palate had changed too.
Not the whiskey, mind you, haha.
Especially when they taste the fantastic Chocolate Whisky Bundt Cake, so good I have traded it instead of paying for the repair of my air conditioner once. True story.
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 plenty of 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.
What type of whiskey or bourbon should we use?
Whichever brand you like can be used.
Nowadays, I'm having a love affair with Jack Daniels, regular and honey, the caramel undertone it provides is amazing.
The walnuts add crunch and round up the flavor. A fabulous recipe you should try asap.
Tips for making this recipe:
Make-ahead - they are better the next day and can be frozen, well wrapped, for several weeks.
Chocolate - the better the chocolate, the better the brownies.
Raisins - choose plump and moist raisins. They will make a difference.
Other recipes you might like:
These brownies are gooey, fudgy and full of whisky soaked raisins for a flavour experience that will surprise you in the best way.
- ½ cup (70g) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 6 oz (170g) bittersweet chocolate, broken into medium pieces
- ½ cup (110g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 2 Tbs. whiskey (I use jack daniels, regular or honey)
- ¾ cups raisins
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room tº
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 2 Tbs. (160g) unbleached all-purpose or cake flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325ºF/170ºC
- 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.
- Increse the oven temperature to 350ºF/180ºC
- 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 in 10 second spurts, whisking every time, or over a saucepan of boiling water (be careful water doesn't touch the bowl).
- In a small saucepan over low heat, heat ½ 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 parts, mixing on low until combined. You can do this part with a spatula too.
- 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 even out.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until barely jiggling in the center.
- Cool on a wire rack, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
- Before serving, cut into squares (easier if they are cold from the fridge). If you want, sift a fine layer of cocoa powder over the surface, brushing off the excess cocoa for a velvety finish.
Keywords: raisin brownies, whisky raisin brownies