Wine Tasting Weekend & Oh Chocolatey Brownies

May 9, 2011 § 20 Comments

This past weekend was exactly what I needed. Eric and I went wine tasting – one of our favorite things in the world to do. We went to Paso Robles, which happens to only be a few hours north of Los Angeles but always transports me to another world whenever I visit. The photo above was snapped on one of the small side roads – how beautiful, yes? It’s just acre after acre of beautiful scenery connecting the tasting rooms and I never tire of taking it all in. I have this lofty goal of visiting every single tasting room and with new wineries opening seemingly every day this will probably never happen but it’s still a fun goal to have. This weekend we visited Donaldi, Changala, Kaleidos, Denner, Chateau Margene, and lastly Thacher… I’d say we put a good dent in the list of tasting rooms.

 

 

The impetus for this visit was Thacher’s spring pick-up party. Being members of their wine club, we receive regular half-case shipments of their wines. In the spring though, they have a pick-up party for their members. This was our third consecutive year attending and each year it has gotten more fun. The past couple years they’ve scheduled their parties to fall on Kentucky Derby day and thrown a Derby themed party, complete with a hat and costume contest. As always, we had a blast – the food kept coming and the wine never stopped pouring. I think I might have even won the best outfit contest (my dress had graphics of awards, trophies, and horses) but was in the tasting room – natch – when they were collecting the ticket stub votes.

If you’re ever up in the Paso area I would definitely recommend a stop into the Thacher tasting room, especially if you enjoy the smaller mom and pop type places. We actually opened a bottle of one of their Zinfandels last week and noticed that only 72 cases of this blend had been produced. It doesn’t get much more special than that.

I’d also like to share some brownies with you. These were amazingly delicious! I love a good brownie. I’ve made several brownie recipes in the past but this was the first one I’ve made that used actual chocolate rather than cocoa powder. It was SO GOOD. One thing I like about this recipe is that the brownies baked perfectly without the edges over-hardening when cooled. I was able to cut them the next day without a problem.

Recipe after the jump

Oh Chocolatey Brownies:

8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 12 small cubes
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″x13″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a small pan, heat the butter over medium heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir from the middle until the chocolate is melted and completely incorporated. Set aside to cool a bit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the brown sugar. Slowly beat in one egg at a time, not adding the next until the previous one is mixed in. Add the salt, sugar, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add in the chocolate/butter mixture, and mix until combined. Add the flour and continue to mix until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the lined and greased pan, and top with the slivered almonds. Bake until cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan, preferably overnight. Carefully remove from the pan and away from the foil. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Source: The Modern Baker

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§ 20 Responses to Wine Tasting Weekend & Oh Chocolatey Brownies

  • Pachecopatty says:

    Hi Roxan, I just saw your link on Twitter, I need to check that out more often!
    This looks like a lot of fun and I love this area for wine tasting, it’s been a few years bur definitely need to return! Thanks for the chocolate brownie recipe, how did you know I was thinking about making brownies!?!?

    • Roxan says:

      Patty, thank you so much for your comment! :) You definitely should spend more time on twitter. I think I spend more time there than on blogs, facebook etc. What wineries do you like in Paso? I’ll definitely have to check them out the next time I’m up there. My husband and I try to go as often as we can.

  • I love wine tastings. I always go when I visit my Dad in Cape Town, he researches them all for us beforehand !! It’s looks like you had such a lovely day, the scenery even looks the same as The Cape. I love your dress by the way and the brownies look to die for! :D

  • RavieNomNoms says:

    I really enjoy wine tastings! They are so much fun and you get to meet so many cool people. My boyfriend and I went on the CT wine trail for our 2 year anniversary and we had SO much fun! Yours looks like it was a blast.

    Now those brownies…just divine my dear! They look so chocolatey and delicious

  • Love your new blog/name…just lovely! You’re such a beautiful couple. Those brownies…oh my gosh! I need to give them a try. I could never have enough brownie recipes:)

  • What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! I have GOT to go wine tasting one last time in California before we move to Texas… Your pictures have inspired me!

  • briarrose says:

    Such a relaxing trip.

    Awesome brownies….they have a lovely texture. I’ll have to give these a try.

  • I love the photos of you, so nice. I haven’t been wine tasting in that area. I need to make a trip out of it. I usually go that way at least once or twice a year. The brownies sound amazing too, but you know I don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate. I can’t wait to see the matcha macarons.
    -Gina-

  • lena says:

    a wine tasting trip sounds fantastic to me! lovely couple! i also like the idea of slivered almonds on the brownies

  • What a fun weekend, and I love your hat! Your brownies look amazing too with the sliced almonds. Now, I want a brownie for lunch.

    • Roxan says:

      Thanks! I bought it just for the party. I had planned on going to Michaels and buying feathers or flowers to decorate it but ran out of time. The winner of the hat contest had decorated hers with a bunch of small plastic wine glasses. it was really corny/cute.

  • Tanantha says:

    this sounds like a fun trip! Although I wish I could enjoy wine tasting, I’m sure it’s worth the try. I;’m so jealous of the weather in CA!!

  • Elin says:

    Hi Roxan…I love wine tasting too but unfortunately over here we can sometimes have this experience only at the wine shop or at wine promotion fair :p Love your new blog :)

    Btw, I am here to give you this award the Versatile Blogger Award! Please stop by http://www.elinluvdelights.com/2011/05/i-won-versatile-blogger-award.html to collect it!

    Have a nice day !

    Cheers,
    Elin

  • Maya says:

    Forget about the award for the dress, I think you and Eric should win an award for the loveliest-looking couple there! Looks like you guys had an amazing time. I’ve never been wine-tasting before so that plate you held with a slot to put you wine glass in really have me in awe..LOL. Such beautiful country scenery in the first picture, I heart places like that! Thanks for sharing your day out, Roxan.

  • Ah, Roxan!! Thank you for sharing this tasty brownie recipe–brownies are truly my all-time favorite sweet treat. I have a standard favorite (Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies), but I also LOVE to try new brownie recipes often. I will definitely give yours a shot :)

  • Sounds like a great trip…I have not been to Paso Robles in awhile but used to live in Pismo Beach and went up there frequently them :)
    Your brownies look delicious :)

  • Nirmal says:

    what an adorable couple, u look like u had fun! i’m not vegetarian, but i enjoy ur recipes, they add variety for me! tc!

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