Porter Brownies with Walnuts

We were fortunate enough to live for almost five years in a town with a microbewery .  It was back when microbreweries were first beginning to sprout up around the country and the place was called Silver City Pub.  The name has changed to Silver City Restaurant and Brewery.  You can find them on Facebook and under “likes” on the Edible Tapestry FB page.

I am not a six-pack American beer swilling kinda girl.  I am a German kinda girl, though, and seem to have inherited the German appreciation for dark brews.  As a result, I am a big stout and porter fan.   Our local microbrewery served brownies made with their own porter.  It was a monstrosity of a hunk of warm chocolate goo filled with big chunks of walnuts and served with ice cream melting all over the top and down the sides.  I loved this brownie!!  Until I had it, I couldn’t stand nuts in anything baked and thought they ruined a good piece of chocolate when added to chocolate bars and truffles.   This brownie converted me.

I was told that their version was made with a basic packaged brownie mix, but the brewery’s Panther Lake Porter was used in place of water.  I am a scratch cook and baker for the most part, so set about trying to find a way to duplicate my favorite brownie with a scratch recipe using a dark brew.  Scratch brownie recipes don’t call for a liquid that I could replace, so a bit of trial and error was required to get the result I wanted.  I think the fact that I nearly swooned with the first bite convinces me that I can’t get much closer to my favorite microbrewery porter brownie than this.  Nothing beats sitting down and having someone bring you one of your favorite things, but at least I will no longer be pining for a favorite thing that was only once upon a time.  Now I can make and eat them anytime I want!  Yikes!!

Ingredients:

1/4 c. canola oil

1/2 c. cocoa

1 c. butter

3 c. sugar

5 eggs

1/2 c. porter or stout

1/2 c. cocoa

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 c. walnuts (optional)

Method:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13X9″ pan.

Melt the butter.   Add the oil and 1/2 c. cocoa.

Beat eggs and sugar until well combined.

Stir in melted butter/cocoa mixture and beer.

Whip until thickened and frothy about 5 minutes.

Sift together dry ingredients.  Chop walnuts very coarsely or leave whole if you like and add to dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet.  Fold in gently.   Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 40 minutes for a moist center, longer if you like brownies drier.

Update:  I have created an improved version of this, my first attempt, at a scratch-made porter brownie recipe.  Though I really enjoy this one, the second, Moist Dark Porter Brownies with Walnuts, is even more decadent and best emulates the brownie I so enjoyed at Silver City Pub in the late ’90s.

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