This brownie one of those wickedly rich, unashamedly fudgy and completely over-the-top ones – the type that never disappoints. But be warned, only a small piece will suffice. Feel free to replace the brandy with an orange liqueur or whiskey. Alternatively, for a kid-friendly version, simply replace it with water. It is also particularly good served for dessert with a generous scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream.
- 125 g dried sour cherries or good-quality unsweetened dried cranberries
- 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
- 250 g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa solids), chopped
- 185 g butter, cubed
- 275 g (1¼ cups) soft brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
- 30 g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 100 g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), extra, coarsely chopped
- cocoa powder or icing sugar, to dust (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Grease a 16 cm x 26 cm shallow slice tin and line the base and long sides with one piece of baking paper.
Place the cherries and brandy in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until almost simmering. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the cherries.
Place the 250 g dark chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan.
Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until well combined.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until just combined. Use a spatula to fold in the soaked cherries and extra 100 g dark chocolate.
Pour mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bake oven for 35-40 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool in tin on a wire rack (this will take about 1 hour).
Remove brownie from the tin using the baking paper to lift it out. Cut into portions and dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar, if desired, to serve.
• These brownies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Serve at room temperature.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Brownie column.
View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.