Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sour Cherry Brownies

Fruit and chocolate is a combination I'm not usually a fan of. The texture of most fruits, I feel, clashes horribly with the chocolate's, most of all in the of case the unreasonably popular chocolate-coated strawberries. Dried fruit works better, and banana I quite like, but generally I'll avoid recipes that suggest mixing the two. So why this recipe? Well, the gooey consistency of the brownies melds well with the cherries, and the sour cherries are strongly flavoured enough to withstand the dark intensity of the chocolate. The cherries come from a jar, unless you grow your own or know somebody who does, fresh sour cherries are hard to come by in the UK. I add the juice from the jar to the brownie batter, but if you have some Kirsch knocking around, that would be an excellent addition too.
If you want to make plain brownies, leave out the cherries and substitute vanilla essence for the juice. The basic brownie recipe comes by way of Sue-L, a poster on the BBC Food Messageboard.

200 grams butter
200 grams plain chocolate
600 grams caster sugar
4 eggs, large
250 grams plain flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
200 grams bottled sour cherries, plus 3 tbsp of the juice.

Preheat oven to 180C, Gas 4
Prepare a small rectangular roasting tin or oven proof dish approximately 8 x 12" (20x30cm). Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Cool slightly. Stir in the sugar and juice from the cherry jar.Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until well blended each time.
Add the flour and cocoa and beat for about 1 minute, until smooth. Fold in the cherries. Pour into prepared tin, and bake for about 40 - 50 minutes. The mixture needs to be just cooked, so start testing with a cocktail stick at about 35 minutes - it should have moist crumbs, but not wet batter, still clinging to it.
Cool in tin until cool enough to handle, then turn out and leave until completely cold before cutting into squares.

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