This post really should have been named: “How to make good use of the crappy wine that one of your friends/family-members gave you as a gift, because they thought it would be hilarious!”
It could be the start of a whole new feature on this website!
My situation was a simple one. It was our turn to host my wife’s book club, and for my part I’d decided to contribute dessert. I was actually given the idea for the Chocovine dessert from one of my good friends, who was the former Head Chef at the restaurant I used to manage here in Jacksonville. She told me that she’d made (from scratch) a Chocovine cake (at some point in 2011), but I’d never bothered to enquire after the recipe, as I didn’t think I’d find myself in the position of owning said bottle of “chocolaty goodness”.
Christmas 2011 rolls around, and what do you know. This bottle of
pure evil Chocovine gets presented to me from a family-member (who obviously knows my passion for wine).
Somehow I resisted the urge to say “….is this supposed to be some kind of f**king joke!?!?”, and instead greeted it with a very polite “oh….thank-you! Wow. You really didn’t have to do this….”
So anyway, I’ve never been a huge fan of baking, mainly because there are so many more rigid rules as to what you can and can’t do compared to regular cooking.
After a brief conversation with my Chef-friend, she told me that if I wanted to make Chocovine brownies, all I would need to do is substitute the water for the wine. Perfect! Now that’s my kind of baking! Although I will have to tell you that instead of switching a 1/4 cup of water for 1/4 cup of Chocovine, I definitely added more like a 1.5 cups. It didn’t seem worth it otherwise, plus what else am I going to do with this wine once it’s open?
Walnuts weren’t actually part of Betty Crocker’s mix, but I had them leftover from a previous recipe, so I figured why not? After blending together, the mix went into an extremely well-greased pan, and then thrown into the oven for about 25 mins at 325F.
Ok, at this stage I have to admit that I could have completely skipped this photo and lied to you about how AMAZING and SMOOTHLY everything went and what an excellent baker I am.
Instead, I decided to fess-up and post the truth.
More food blogs should do this in my opinion!!! I have a hard time believing that they don’t balls-up a recipe every now and then….even if this one should have been simple…as it came out of a packet!
I’m not too sure what the problem was, as I greased the arse out of the baking pan! No big deal. I managed to turn the situation around.
Luckily I had pre-made Betty Crocker vanilla icing to hide the evidence of my cock-up, to which I added another half a cup of Chocovine, whisked it together and then spread it on top of my pieced-together brownie.
The finished result! After being topped with the icing, the brownies were simply cut into small pieces and finished with the smashed-up Heath Bar pieces. From what I could tell, the book club seemed to enjoy them, as we only had 3 brownies left after everyone (all 8 of them) had left!
So that’s it! That’s how you turn a bad-wine-situation into a good one! My only concern is that I have a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill (another gift) on my wine rack that has left me bereft of inspiration for a similar culinary-use…