Chocolate Cherry Brownies

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I hope you like your brownies gooey as this recipe gives you exactly that. Those of you on a health kick should glance quickly past the butter, chocolate and sugar quantities as they aren’t recommended for the faint hearted. Then again, the recipe does include cherries so that’s one of your five-a-day, right?

I’m forever searching for the perfect brownie. The battle between too cakey and too wet has always been a struggle to overcome, and while these brownies are perhaps a tad on the gooey side, their chewy edges give you the best of both worlds.

My favourite thing about these though, is the cherries. Not only do they add bite, but they give the tastebuds a break from the dense chocolate flavour in such a complimentary way. Next time I’ll be doing these with fresh cherries for a sour/sweet kick. If you’re a fan of texture, add chopped macadamia nuts or hazelnuts alongside the cherries for extra crunch.

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brownie


Prep time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes

Serves 12


200g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
250g unsalted butter
360g caster sugar
60g plain flour
80g coco powder
3 eggs
100g glacé cherries or fresh cherries (with stones removed)


Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Line a 20cm by 20cm non-stick baking tin.

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and leave until melted and silky.

Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In a separate bowl mix the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy, then slowly drizzle in the butter/chocolate goodness until well incorporated.

Chop 70g of the cherries into halves and combine the flour, coco powder and baking powder. Add the cherries to the flour mixture and mix well with the wet ingredients until thick and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and press into the sides. With the remaining whole cherries carefully place them equal distance apart in 3 lines (Use them to measure how big you want to cut your squares).

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. When pressed lightly it should bounce so be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy.

Leave to cool completely then cut and enjoy.


Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies 4

Much like marmite I find peanut butter is very much a “you either love it or you hate it” kind of spread. Of the lovers, some like it crunchy, others prefer it smooth, but whatever the texture preference, all will be glad to hear that today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day.

In celebration, many may simply run to the toaster to make warm peanut butter on toast, but with baking what I’m known for, it was only right that I used peanut butter in some form of kitchen creation.

I’m no stranger to baking with peanut butter as you will see from some of my previous posts, but there is one thing missing and that’s the chocolate brownie. As soon as I got the idea in my head it wasn’t long before the warm chocolatey, peanut buttery slab of heaven was ready to be tasted. Needless to say it didn’t last the hour and 30 minutes it took to make: I never knew I was friends so many peanut butter lovers. It seems I chose well!

Peanut Butter Brownies 2

Peanut Butter Brownies


Makes 16 squares

Preparation time | 30 minutes

Baking time | 1 hour


Brownie batter

115g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan

160g good-quality dark chocolate chocolate, coarsely chopped

85g all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

150g granulated sugar

3 large free-range eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Peanut filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

65g confectioners’ sugar

100g smooth peanut butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a greased 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides.

To create the batter, put butter and chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted.

While this cools whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, and set aside.

Then add the sugar and eggs into the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking to combine. (remember to ensure the chocolate is cool so the eggs don’t begin to cook). Stir in the vanilla then add the flour mixture folding until well incorporated.

For the peanut filling, stir together butter, icing sugar, peanut butter and vanilla into a bowl until smooth.

Pour 1/3 of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan spreading evenly into the corners. Place 4-6 spoonfuls about 1 inch apart on top of the batter. Follow this process with the remaining chocolate batter and place the rest of the peanut filling on top.

With a butter knife, gently swirl the filling into batter, starting from the top corner and running the knife lengthways in an ‘S’ shape. Bake for about 45 minutes then let it cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.