I learned two things in the process of making this fantastic recipe (found at Annie's Eats):
#1 - Dark chocolate and fresh sweet summer cherries should ALWAYS be combined into deliciousness
#2 - My friend Matt absolutely hates the word "decadent", he grosses out over that word. Who knew? You can check out his lovely wife's foodie blog here: White Tablecloths and Dirty Dishes.
There are no words to accurately express how insanely delicious these brownies are. They are rich, just sweet enough without being overpowering, moist (one of my hated words!) and fudgy - perfectly combining fresh cherries with deep, dark chocolatey goodness.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Let me preface this recipe by saying that I am a fairly recent lover of fresh cherries. I never had them growing up and until I went off to college, the only cherries I ever had were either in ice cream or of the maraschino variety and contained enough dye to kill a lab rat. I went to college in northern Indiana and we had access to something incredible...Michigan cherries! Yum. Hence my love affair with fresh cherries began. I was thrilled to see them popping up at local farmstands here on the Eastern Shore a few weeks ago and began scouring for recipes.
This is, by far, my favorite cherry recipe. I can't wait to make it again! If it was more "breakfasty" I'd share it with the band Sunday morning...hmmm...maybe I can try to justify chocolate brownies for breakfast since they have "fruit" in them and the dark chocolate is full of antioxidants...might as well be a multivitamin, right?
Anyway, without too much more ado, here's the recipe. Be sure you have a tall glass of cold milk readily available to wash down this deliciousness!
Deep Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1¼ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
- 5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 cup flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. salt
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the cherries and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small roasting pan and toss well to combine. Roast the cherries for 10 minutes, or until they begin to release their juices. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350. Don't burn your tongue and/or fingers trying to taste the delicious cherry goo on the pan!
2. Line a 9x9 cake pan with foil so you can easily lift the brownies out once they are cooled. If not using non-stick foil, be sure to spray with a nonstick spray.
3. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth and glossy. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth again. Set aside this crazy-delicious chocolate mixture to cool while you mix up the rest of the brownie batter.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated, then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Gently fold in the roasted cherries. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Definitely lick the bowl!
5. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut them into small squares and store in an airtight container...enjoy the decadence!