These are really moist and fudgy, and intensely chocolatey. I used dried cherries, which I picked up some time ago out of curiosity, and which had then sat in the cupboard. This month's We Should Cocoa challenge (which is cherries) gave me a good excuse to use them. The cherries plump up during baking, and as they are quite tart (think a milder version of dried cranberry), really balanced out the sweetness of the chocolate beautifully.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies
Ingredients (makes 16)
185g unsalted butter
185g 70% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
3 large eggs
275g caster sugar
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
80g good milk chocolate, chopped (I used Cadbury's Dairy Milk)
85g soft dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 conventional / 350 F / Gas 4. Grease and base line a 20cm square brownie pan (I use a Silverwood loose based tin as it's easier to remove the brownies at the end - this one is similar. I also use a reusable liner which I've cut to size to fit the tin - you can then just wash and reuse).
Place the butter and dark chocolate into a bowl and place this over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir gently until well melted and mixed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place the eggs in a large bow; with the sugar. Using a hand mixer, mix on high speed until the sugar has dissolved and it is light and fluffy - about double in size. When it's ready, the mixture should leave a trail over the surface for a few seconds.
Gently fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs mixture. Continue, gently, until it is incorporated.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and fold in.
Add the milk chocolate and cherries and gently fold in.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes. The top should look shiny and papery, and the sides just coming away from the tin. If the centre is still wobbly, it's not quite done, so give it a few more minutes, but be careful as you don't want to over bake them - the idea is that they are squidgy after all.
Leave in the tin to cool completely, then run a palette knife around the edge of the tin to loosen, and turn out. Cut into 16 squares. These will keep in an airtight container for a good 3-4 days. That's if you can resist them - I couldn't stop myself picking at the bits of chocolate left on the tin, as it was just too good to leave!
I tarted some of mine up with some fresh cream, sifted cocoa powder and a real cherry. This was a bit unnecessary, as they tasted just as great without.
Aaanyways, as this month's We Should Cocoa challenge is cherries, I'm sending these over to Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen, as she is guest hosting this month. [For those who don't know, the challenge is run by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot - they pick a different ingredient every month to pair with chocolate.] The roundup will appear at Farmersgirl Kitchen around the end of August.